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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Monday morning commute is expected to be messy with road and bridge closures near Station Square and detours for the Port Authority of Allegheny County light rail system and buses due to a freight train derailment.
Seven rail cars on a Norfolk Southern train derailed just after 1 p.m. Sunday, crashing down onto the light rail tracks below.
“The train did collapse down onto the T tracks, so we can expect a long rush hour tomorrow morning,” Pittsburgh Public Safety spokesperson Chris Togneri said.
By late Sunday afternoon, rail service was up running from the North Shore to First Avenue Station and from South Hills Junction to South Hills Village on the Red Line and to Lytle Station on the Blue Line.
Both the Red and Blue lines are expected to run from South Hills Village to South Hills Junction for Monday’s rush hour.
“We are optimistic that our buses can come in through the Mt. Washington tunnel, but clearly we will not be able to have rail at this particular section, so trains coming into the city, if we have everything up and running, will be diverting at the South Hills Junction location,” Port Authority CEO Katharine Kelleman said.
Port Authority says all inbound rail vehicles will serve South Hills Junction, use the tracks that run through Allentown, cross the Monongahela River and serve all downtown light rail stations Monday. Delays are to be expected.
A bus shuttle will serve South Hills Junction, the upper station of the Monongahela Incline and the upper station of the Duquesne Incline.
Officials estimated it would take about 72 hours to remove the cars. It’s unclear at this time how long any repairs needed to the light rail tracks will take after the cars are removed.
“At a minimum, we have to make sure our rail is safe, and it’s not just the actual physical damage. There’s a lot that goes on with vibration, for instance,” Kelleman said. “Our incline is not in operation right now. There’s a lot that we have to doublecheck on to ensure that we are safe to carry everyone back and forth.”
The Smithfield Street Bridge will be closed through Monday morning rush hour. West Carson Street will remain closed through the duration of the car removal operation.
Buses that use Carson Street near Station Square or the Smithfield Street Bridge will be detoured.
Up-to-date details on shuttle service, bus route detours and more will be posted on PortAuthority.org.
Port Authority Customer Service phone lines will be open at 6 a.m. Customer Service can be reached at 412-442-2000 or 412-231-7007 for TTY.