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Freight train jumps track near Hagerstown underpass

March 10, 2011|By DAN DEARTH | dan.dearth@herald-mail.com
  • A railroad worker walks past two derailed railroad cars Thursday off Virginia Avenue.
By Ric Dugan, Staff Photographer

HAGERSTOWN — A Winchester & Western freight train jumped the tracks Thursday afternoon near the underpass of West Wilson Boulevard and Virginia Avenue in Hagerstown.

The train was delivering rail cars to a Norfolk Southern railroad yard, according to Rudy Husband, director of public relations for Norfolk Southern.

Tara Dum, assistant train master with Norfolk Southern, said at the scene that she had no immediate comment. She said the derailment was under investigation.

At the scene, two freight cars were lying perpendicular to the tracks, and two large train axles were separated from the cars and lying unattached on the rails.

The rails appeared to have been damaged at the spot near the derailment. At least six Norfolk Southern employees were at the scene.

The derailment did not affect vehicular traffic in the area.

Sandy Stoneberger, a resident of West Wilson Boulevard, said she and her husband, Bill, had just returned home from shopping when he noticed the derailed train as they drove up.

"He looked over and saw these cars sitting there," she said. "He just came back and said, — You need to take a look, you're not going to believe it.'"

Bill Stoneberger said a railroad official told him the accident happened shortly after 1 p.m.

Stoneberger said there was a train derailment in the same spot about two years ago, but it wasn't anything like the one Thursday.

"This one is unreal," she said.

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