(Update: the fire department indicates that the derailment was caused by a bridge collapse! It was not the derailment taking out the bridge.)
22 of the 26 coal cars derailed. Since some hoppers are in the river and on Bailey Drive, people on the south side of the tracks are cut off from their homes. At least one resident is glad that NS is forced to rebuild the bridge because he thought it was looking rather rickety. [WDBJ7]
Once again, a Class I was lucky that there were no cars travelling under the bridge when the cars fell. The odds of having a bystander fatality is going to catch up with them one of these days.
Hank Dralle provided four photos as comments on a post.
|safe_image for AIR7 flies over the 26-car train derailment in Roanoke Co.|
[They are sending some black plumes of coal down the river. "Out of an abundance of caution, Salem is currently withdrawing water from groundwater wells and not the Roanoke River until the water samples from the river can be collected and analyzed. The City has sufficient back-up water resources and no disruptions to service are anticipated."]
Kyle Sparks: Wake up. PSR and the FRA turning the blind eye and granting waiver after waiver is causing this. There are more and more big derailments despite more technology. PSR is jeopardizing public safety. Longer trains and less and less inspections.
Steven Monteiro: Lots of track patrolling has been cut off on the railroad.
Mark Walls: PTC is taking the maintenance out of everything!
Ralph H. White: Dustin Pope After 3 3/4 years of lax enforcement and rule changes by the FRA it is bound to start showing up. "Reduce regulations, reduce regulations cut business loose" . Sound familiar? Engineer 78-18, I saw it all before. More than once!
Stephen Warner: Looks like an open or ballast deck trestle on the Virginian line, not the N&W. Could also have been a broken rail, or a pier undermined by all the water/flooding lately. Will they replace it, or abandon it and route everything over the N&W to the NV connection back to the VGN east of Salem? Reminds me of a similar one in the late 70's that I went to over the Black Warrior River on SR's Northern Alabama RR line. A through truss had a hanger break and all the loaded Big Reds went into the river. Ultrasonic inspection found more cracked hangers in the trestle (grease coating of steel trestles stopped after that since one could not visually see this). SR replaced all the through truss's after that.
|Kevin Cooper commented on a share|
Luckily the water won't too deep, we got her cleaned up quick but rebuilding the bridge might take a while.
Roanoke County Fire & Rescue Department posted seven photos with the comment:
Agencies Respond to Train Derailment
(Roanoke County, VA—October 31, 2020) Cleanup is underway after a Norfolk Southern Corp. bridge collapsed in Roanoke County near Barley Drive on Friday evening around 11:15 pm. The bridge collapsed while a train carrying coal was crossing the Roanoke River, and a dozen of 22 rail cars that derailed fell into the river releasing approximately 2000 tons of coal.
The Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) and Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) responded to the initial incident and have been coordinating with NSC on the removal of the rail cars and coal from the Roanoke River. Any environmental impacts from the coal are expected to be largely physical in nature. However, DEQ is coordinating with local, state and federal agencies and Norfolk Southern to collect samples to determine whether there have been any impacts to water quality.
The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is working closely with the City of Salem Water Treatment Plant to ensure drinking water service is not disrupted. Out of an abundance of caution, Salem is currently withdrawing water from groundwater wells and not the Roanoke River until the water samples from the river can be collected and analyzed. The City has sufficient back-up water resources and no disruptions to service are anticipated.
The Emergency Managers from Roanoke County and the City of Salem are also working with Norfolk Southern to ensure the safety of citizens as response efforts continue.
For additional information:
Robert Parker, VDH firstname.lastname@example.org