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