Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

April 18, 2014

Norfolk Southern’s old Va. line reopens after derailment

ROCK — A train derailment in Mercer County that resulted in a spill of about 1,200 tons of coal on the track and in the right-of-way of Norfolk Southern Railway’s old Virginian line near Rock was cleared and trains were “back on track,” early Thursday morning, according to NS spokesman Robin Chapman.

NS and contract crews with W.E.L. Environmental Inc. worked all day Wednesday, through the night and into the early morning hours on Thursday to clear the right-of-way, repair track and get rail traffic moving again, according to Chapman. Train traffic resumed on the line at 8 a.m. Thursday morning according to Chapman.

Twelve coal cars — not eight as previously reported — were involved in the derailment that occurred at 11:15 p.m. on Tuesday night. The cars were part of a 180-car coal train that was headed to Norfolk, Va. NS reported that there were no injuries in the derailment and on Thursday the cause of the derailment was still under investigation.

Crews on site used earth-moving equipment to erect a makeshift road up to the tracks to move heavy equipment onto position to remove damaged cars and clear the tracks. The site of the derailment was in a remote wooded area that was difficult to reach, but the NS and contract crews worked nearly 33 hours to clear the site and open the tracks for freight to start moving again.

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