It’s no secret that Dawson County has been
experiencing a string of train issues. Early in the morning
hours of Feb. 21, a train derailed in Gothenburg, spilling
coal and backing up the tracks past Cozad. With the
incident occurring during non-business hours, at the
crossroads between night and morning, Union Pacific
railroad workers were left in need of a place to eat.
While railroad workers are used to long hours, Union
Pacific had workers that would need fed every five
hours and they reached out to Gothenburg’s Ampride
for assistance. Manager Deb Coffey and Sales Clerk Mica
Esslinger stayed overnight to help distribute meals to
the Union Pacific workers.
“We served 290 meals, total,” stated Coffey. “We did five
meals. There were 60 people for four of them and then
50 in the last group. They [Union Pacific workers] came
in and asked if we would stay overnight to feed them
every five hours. Of course, we said yes. The first meal
we ordered from a couple of Country Partners’ stores and
then we got their dinner from Fresh Seasons Deli.”
The Union Pacific workers paid for their meals but
were grateful for the local business willing to stay open
all night to serve them. Coffey stated that they wanted
to help them because of the train derailment and the
aid Ampride gave to the workers wouldn’t have been
possible without their employees.
“My crew at Gothenburg Ampride really stepped up
to the plate to make all of this possible and run as
smoothly as possible,” remarked Coffey.
It was a team effort that ultimately helped alleviate
the hunger of stuck railroad workers during a rough