Princess Ferguson, Pittsburgh fare collector, recounts moments before train crash

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PITTSBURGH — With her feet perched on a crate to get "leg room" and sitting comfortably on a hot, humid Pittsburgh Sunday afternoon, Princess Ferguson was just doing her job as a fare collector for the T.

"I start hearing a real loud noise. I couldn't explain this noise at all. I looked out my window to my right and I saw ... dust. A whole bunch of dust coming from over the top of the hill," Ferguson told Pittsburgh media at a news conference this week. "As soon as I looked back over to my platform, I saw the train coming over the hillside."

That train was a Norfolk Southern intermodal train bound for Chicago that derailed feet away from the Station Square T stop in Pittsburgh. Seven of 57 cars on the 7,000-foot-long intermodal train derailed Aug. 5 minutes after a Port Authority of Allegheny County "T" passenger train departed the Station Square stop. Station Square is a shopping and entertainment venue on the Monongahela River that includes the former Pittsburgh & Lake Erie depot.

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