One Amtrak Metroliner and three of four Con-Rail commuter trains were canceled yesterday in the aftermath of the derailment Wednesday night of an Amtrak train on a railbed along New York Avenue NE. Nineteen persons were injured in the derailment, including two persons who remained hospitalized yesterday.
Most trains traveling through Union Station yesterday morning experience 90-minute delays before one of the two tracks blocked by the derailed train were cleared at 10:40 a.m. After the single track was cleared train delays were cut to 30 minutes as cranes and bulldozers continued to work to clear an estimated $150,000 worth of tangled wreckage from the railbed.
The cause of the derailment had not been determined yesterday, according to Amtrak spokesman Joe Vranich. But crews of experts spent the day at the site, Vranich said, in an effort to determine a cause.
Vranich said the rail system estimated that $100,000 in damage was done to the nine cars and the engine that went off the tracks in New York Avenue NE. The derailment occurred about 10 minutes after the train, The Palmetto, left Union Station shortly after 7 p.m. THe train was traveling from Savannah, Ga., through Union Station to New York City, with 136 passengers aboard.
The one Amtrak Metroliner canceled yesterday was the 7 a.m. run to New York. Most of that train's passengers took a 7:10 Amtrak train, which arrived in New York almost two hours later than the 7 a.m. Metroliner's scheduled arrival.
More than a mile-long stretch of Amtrak passenger train track between Union Station and Landover was "fouled" by the derailment. There is a six-mile section of track between Union Station and the Capitol Beltway station in Landover.
ConRail morning commuter trains scheduled at 6:20 and the 7 were were canceled. The trains stop at all stations between Baltimore and Washington.
An Amtrak train, the Night Owl, later stopped at all these stations and picked up commuters. The Amtrak train arrived an hour and a half later than the commuter trains schedule called for.
Only one of two afternoon commuter trains - the 5:25 - on the ConRail line was canceled. The 6:05 train ran as scheduled, according to a ConRail spokesman.
The two persons remaining in Capitol Hill Hospital after the derailment were reported to be in good condition yesterday. Harold Williams, of Paterson, N.J., suffered a back injury and Ida Leatherbery, an Amtrak employe, hurt her shoulder, according to an Amtrak spokesman.