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CSX derailment forces riders to take the bus

April 08, 2004|by CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

KEARNEYSVILLE, W.VA. - Five of 100 freight cars carrying coal derailed on a section of CSX railroad line in Kearneysville on Wednesday morning, causing commuters who normally ride the train home to ride buses instead.

The tracks are expected to be back to normal at 6 or 7 a.m. today, CSX spokesperson Jane Covington said.

On Wednesday evening, commuters could ride the train only as far as Brunswick, Md., in Frederick County. From there, passengers were transferred onto buses and taken to their normal stops in Martinsburg, W.Va., Harpers Ferry, W.Va., and Duffields, W.Va., according to a press release from the Maryland Transit Administration.

Covington said the derailment happened at 10:49 a.m. along a section of track between W.Va. 9 and Stubbs Road in Kearneysville.

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The train consisted of three locomotives and 100 coal cars. It was headed to Brunswick from Cumberland, Md., Covington said.

The cars that slipped off the tracks were the 57th through the 61st. Covington could not say with certainty what caused the derailment.

"We don't speculate until the investigation is complete," she said.

The cause could be known as early as today, or could take longer if a piece of track or a car needs to be taken to a laboratory for testing, she said.

Nobody was injured and none of the cars tipped over or spilled any coal. All came to rest upright and in a straight line, Covington said.

A second track parallel to the affected track was open and CSX trains passed through at little more than a snail's pace.

At the scene, CSX employees used two cranes to lift up the last car and remove a mangled axle. After replacing it, they moved up to the next car.

Employees on the scene declined to comment.

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