Great Western, the short line on the northern Front Range that served the Great Western sugar plant, suffered a serious blow to its infrastructure when a trestle crossing the Cache la Poudre River northwest of Greeley caught fire the morning of February 9th. The fire was reported by an employee of Noble Energy. OmniTrax, which manages the short line, says it will be seven weeks before materials to repair the trestle arrive. The source of the fire, which started in some weeds next to the trestle and spread from there, is now believed to be arson because all non-human sources have been ruled out. A full beer bottle and a half-empty (half-full?) whiskey bottle were found nearby.
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The loss of the trestle has effectively severed the line from Greeley to Windsor. OmniTrax is working with area clients to find alternative shipping until repairs are complete, currently estimated to be in late March or early April. Damages are estimated at $1 million. Anyone with information about the fire should call the Union Colony Fire Department at 970-350-9500.