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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Crews are making major progress Tuesday as they work around the clock to clear the derailed Norfolk Southern train derailment near Station Square.
By sometime Tuesday evening, Norfolk Southern hopes to complete efforts to clear the mainline tracks of the remaining rail cars and containers that derailed Sunday afternoon. This will enable the railroad to finish installing new track panels to replace track impacted by the derailment.
“We are cautiously optimistic that by sometime (Wednesday) morning we will be in a position to run some trains,” said Rudy Husband, the resident vice president of Norfolk Southern.
Meanwhile, Carson Street remains closed and the Port Authority T Service, which is running from Downtown to the South Hills, is going up and over Allentown. That adds 25-30 minutes to the trip.
Commuters can expect the same delays on the T Wednesday morning.
As far as the progress made Tuesday, after trying to be delicate most of the day, the crews working to clear the train derailment on Carson Street abandon all gentle considerations. After failed efforts to lift it down to Carson Street, the crew from RJ Corman just pulled it off the top. With a crash the top container of a double stack hit the ground alongside the elevated tracks.
With it down, the crews then took their bulldozers and blazed a path through the track-side underbrush and cut a route to Carson Street under the overpass next to Arlington.
It was far from graceful, but it worked and in short order the remaining three containers followed in its path. The two bottom containers coming down complete with their piggyback rail cars.
Now the efforts focus on two fronts.
Norfolk Southern is working to restore it’s busiest track in the country, while crews work to clear the Station Square T station and prepare it for what are expected to be extensive repairs to the track and concrete. Its to early to say what PennDOT may need to repair on Carson Street.
The cause of the derailment is still under investigation. Norfolk Southern hasn’t ruled out anything. They will look at the tracks, they will look at the equipment and they will look at how the train was being operated.
Carson Street will remain closed for probably a couple more days, and there’s no way to estimate how long the T station will be down. The Smithfield Street Bridge remains closed to vehicle traffic, but it is open to pedestrians and buses. The buses can come through and use the transit tunnel.