NTSB preliminary report on Alexandria derailment notes washout

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A still from drone footage shows the site of the May 19, 2018, derailment on CSX near Alexandria, Va.
National Transportation Safety Board

WASHINGTON — A small washout may have been a factor in a May 19 derailment of a CSX Transportation train near Alexandria, Va., according to information in the National Transportation Safety Board’s preliminary accident report.

The derailment, on a bridge over Norfolk Southern tracks, blocked CSX and NS traffic and disrupted Amtrak and commuter rail service. [See “Clean-up continues of CSX DC derailment,” Trains News Wire, May 21, 2018.]

The 31 cars of the southbound CSX train, with three locomotives and 167 cars, derailed about 7 a.m. There had been a severe storm warning the previous night, and the area had received about 5 ½ inches of rain in the previous 10 days.

At milepost 102.9, where the derailment occurred, investigators found a 26-foot area where the subgrade and ballast had subsided, leaving a gap between the track structure and the subgrade. There was also a flange mark over the top of the rail head at this location. As this is a preliminary report, no official cause of the accident was offered.

No one was injured in the accident, but damage was estimated at $5-7 million.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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