UPDATE: CSX workers killed by an Amtrak train on the Northeast Corridor

Service between Philadelphia and Washington slowly resuming
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WASHINGTON — National Transportation Safety Board investigators are looking specifically into what a CSX Transportation dispatcher may have told an Amtrak dispatcher in the minutes leading up to a fatal accident late Tuesday.

In a news conference at Washington Union Station Wednesday, NTSB Board Member Earl Weener told news media that a CSX intermodal train (later identified as Q137 — a Chicago to Baltimore train) was eastbound in Washington when CSX dispatchers alerted the crew to a defect detector flagging the train for a defective wheel. The train was carrying an engineer, a conductor and conductor trainee. The two conductors got off the train to look for the problem but were killed by westbound Amtrak Northeast Regional train 175 headed to Union Station.

Weener said the train was between 9,000 and 9,500-feet-long. The NTSB board member did not say if the CSX train actually had a wheel defect, what speed the Amtrak train was moving at when it reached the crew, or exactly where the crew members were when they were struck. Weener said the current focus is on what CSX dispatchers had told Amtrak dispatchers, if anything, and what Amtrak may have told the engineer of the oncoming regional train.

Washington media originally reported that the accident happened about 11:20 p.m., Tuesday. Weener says it was closer to 11:30 p.m. Pictures from local television stations shows the Amtrak train and a CSX intermodal train stopped in the Ivy City section of Washington, northeast of Washington Union Station. The site is at a point near Amtrak's shops, where the CSX main line and Amtrak's Northeast Corridor run in parallel.

Amtrak Northeast Regional Train 175 departed Boston at 3:20 p.m., due to arrive in Washington at 11:20 p.m. News media said there were 121 passengers aboard. No one was injured.

“CSX is deeply saddened to report that at approximately 11:50 p.m. Eastern time Tuesday, June 27, two CSX employees tragically lost their lives when they were struck by an Amtrak train on the railroad tracks near the intersection of 9th Street and New York Avenue, N.E., in Washington, D.C. Our thoughts are with the families and friends of our employees,” CSX officials said in a statement.

Amtrak had suspended travel on the NEC between Washington and Philadelphia. Though service resumed a relatively regular schedule by 7 a.m., with trains operating at restricted speeds near the accident scene, Amtrak officials tell Trains News Wire. The main concourse at Union Station appeared to filled with an average number of commuters for early weekday afternoon Wednesday.

The Maryland commuter rail system, MARC, which uses both lines, announced that trains on CSX, the Camden Line, will terminate at Greenbelt, Md. Trains on the NEC, MARC's Penn Line will terminate at New Carrollton, Md. At both locations, passengers can transfer to Washington's Metro system. There's no word yet on when MARC service will return to normal.

News media report that D.C. police and fire units, Amtrak police, and National Transportation Safety Board investigators are on the scene.

UPDATE: Information regarding a National Transportation Safety Board news conference and Amtrak resuming service between Philadelphia and Washington. June 28, 2017, 9:38 a.m. Central time.
Comments from NTSB Board Member Earl Weener and additional details about the accident.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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