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Rail News: Norfolk Southern Railway

NS begins derailment cleanup in Pittsburgh


A Norfolk Southern Railway freight train derailed yesterday near Station Square in Pittsburgh, sending rail cars down a hill and onto light-rail tracks operated by the Port Authority of Allegheny County.

No one was injured in the incident, according to an NS statement. Light-rail riders experienced delays today heading to and from downtown Pittsburgh, as crews continued to clean up damage and debris from the derailment, authority officials said in a website post.

The incident occurred at 1:13 p.m. Sunday, when seven rail cars on a westbound double-stack intermodal train derailed. The train was carrying food products, beverages, housewares and other retail items, an NS spokesman said in an emailed statement.

He described the cleanup efforts as "slow but steady." The railroad is using cranes, including a 450-ton construction crane, to lift the rail cars and containers and stage them in a parking lot at Station Square, he said. The cars will be loaded onto tractor-trailer or flatbed trucks for removal from the site.

The recovery effort includes the use of four large cranes, four specialty cranes designed to operate in tight spaces, and excavators and bulldozers.

"NS hopes to have the tracks cleared of the wreckage over the next 24 to 48 hours but currently does not have an estimate for when service will resume," the spokesman said. "Norfolk Southern is actively pursuing detour and reroute options in an effort to minimize shipping delays and working closely with customers to meet their service needs."

The train, en route to Chicago, consisted of three locomotives and 57 loaded intermodal rail cars. It was 7,687 feet long and weighed 4,838 tons.

The cause of the derailment remains under investigation.



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