Derailment affects commuter train service into Washington

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A total of 16 cars were involved in a freight train derailment in the nation's capital over the weekend, CSX said Monday, not the 15 previously reported.

CSX updated the number following an assessment of the site. Florida-based CSX says that overnight, rail cars that were not involved in Sunday's derailment were moved away from the site along with several cars that had derailed.

No injuries were reported as a result of the derailment, which happened about 6:40 a.m. Sunday, but hazardous material the train was carrying was spilled. CSX said Monday that ethanol from one derailed car and sodium hydroxide from another derailed car were being offloaded so the cars could be removed from the site. Sodium hydroxide, also known as corrosive lye, is used to produce various household products including paper, soap and detergents, CSX said.

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CSX, which is based in Jacksonville, Florida, has said the train had three locomotives and 175 cars, including 94 that were loaded with mixed freight, and 81 that were empty.

CSX says it is preparing to clean up the derailment site, which will involve replacing soil and laying new track. CSX officials haven't said how long the cleanup might take. The company says ongoing air monitoring shows no negative effect on air quality.

Work at the site of the derailment was affecting Washington-area commuters Monday with one commuter rail line running reduced service, and that impact was expected to continue into Tuesday. The MARC commuter rail system, which serves Maryland, was operating at reduced service on its Brunswick Line. Trains into Washington were stopping in Silver Spring, Maryland, the station before the capital, where passengers can transfer to the Metro rail system. Evening Brunswick Line trains were departing out of Silver Spring instead of Washington, and the Maryland Transit Agency said in a statement late Monday that commuters can expect the same on Tuesday. Transit officials said in a statement that passengers should expect the limited trains MARC is running to be very crowded.

The derailment was also affecting two Amtrak trains on a line that runs from Chicago to Washington. Amtrak said Monday in a statement that its Capitol Limited train, which runs one train daily in each direction between Washington and Chicago, won't run between Pittsburgh and the District of Columbia. Amtrak will be busing passengers to and from Pittsburgh to complete their journeys.


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