CSX, Norfolk Southern recover from two high-profile crashes Wednesday

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Two NS EMD SD40-2s and several freight cars derailed near Calera, Ala., on Wednesday afternoon after a grade crossing collision with a semi truck.
Montana Ryan Moates
Approximately 15 loaded coal hoppers of a 126-car unit coal train derailed in McKeesport, Pa., on Wednesday.
Ian M. Hapsias
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Both eastern Class I railroads are recovering from separate freight train derailments Wednesday that closed city streets, damaged locomotives, and spilled coal.

CSX Transportation is investigating a coal train derailment on an elevated track segment in McKeesport, Pa., while Norfolk Southern recovers from a freight train derailment due to a semi truck collision near Calera, Ala.

A loaded coal drag derailed more than 15 cars in McKeesport Wednesday, shutting down rail service on a busy section of the railroad’s former Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. The train was traveling from Grafton, W.Va., to Monaca, Pa., at the time of the derailment. The incident shut down local streets in McKeesport and destroyed several utility poles.

A CSX freight train derailed in the same vicinity about two years ago in a high-profile derailment that left several freight cars dangling above the Youghiogheny River.

More than 760 miles to the south, a Norfolk Southern freight train derailed Wednesday after striking a semi truck in Calera. The incident sent the train’s lead power, a pair of NS EMD SD40-2s and a half-dozen freight cars off the tracks.

The power included rebuilt NS EMD SD40-2 No. 3241 and EMD SD40-2 3332.

No major injuries were reported in either incident, however the semi truck driver was transported to a local hospital and later released.

Calera is located on NS’ Anniston District in Alabama.

CORRECTION: The rail line where a Norfolk Southern freight train derailed in Alabama was misidentified. The incident happened on NS' Anniston District near the Norfolk Southern-CSX crossing in Calera.
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