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Derailment investigated

June 30, 2004|by BRIAN SHAPPELL

shappell@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN - The cause of a Monday train derailment that closed a rail line and a stretch of Eastern Boulevard for more than 24 hours had not been determined by Tuesday evening, a CSX spokeswoman said.

The Washington County Sheriff's Department said the stretch of Eastern Boulevard crossing the tracks was reopened at 9:30 p.m. Tuesday.

CSX spokeswoman Misty Skipper said repairs to the damaged track and the investigation into the Monday evening train derailment near the intersection of Eastern Boulevard and Security Road were expected to continue into today.

She said on-scene evidence and train equipment similar to an airplane's black box will be analyzed by investigators in the coming days.

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Seven freight cars derailed just after 5:45 p.m. Monday, and four of them rolled off the track. No injuries or hazardous conditions were reported, authorities said.

Skipper said the cars, which were carrying paper products, were placed back on the rails Tuesday at about 10:40 a.m. She said the train cars were still functional but could not be moved from the area Tuesday.

"They're sitting on the track. We're just waiting for the track around them to be repaired so we can move," Skipper said.

Skipper said the rail line, which serves area businesses, is not a heavily used route, so not a lot of trains were affected by the closure.

Area motorists were affected by the closure of Eastern Boulevard. Vehicles were re-routed to other roads, including Security Road and Potomac Avenue.

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