Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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April 17, 2014

Train derails near Rock

ROCK — Repair crews with Norfolk Southern Railway and additional crews with W.E.L., Environmental Inc., with offices in Bluefield were on the scene of a derailment on the former Virginian Railway right-of-way less than a mile from the town of Rock.

“At 11:15 p.m., Tuesday, 8 cars of an eastbound coal train with 180 cars heading to Norfolk, Va., derailed in the vicinity of Rock,” Robin Chapman, spokesman for NS Railway said. “The train was traveling on the old Virginian line.”

Chapman said that NS and contract crews hope to have the line back in service by this morning. Chapman was unsure as to what coal mine the train originated from.

“There were no injuries and the cause of the derailment is under investigation,” he said.

The location of the derailment is on a steep hillside on the south bank of the Bluestone River about one-half mile from the intersection of Route 71 and Rock River Road. The original Virginian mainline track is on the northern side of the riverbed.

There were a few residences on Jatoak Drive and Rock-Browning School Road, however, no one was immediately available to comment. The derailment was not near any residences and there were no grade crossings in the area. Mercer County emergency services personnel were not called to the site of the derailment, according to Chief Steven A. Sommers of the Matoaka Volunteer Fire Department.

Crews at the derailment site were working to clear the wrecked cars from the track. In the mean time, NS locomotives had moved cars that were still on the track, approximately a mile from the derailment site in Rock.

— Contact Bill Archer at

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