7 hurt in Union Station crash

Collision in rail yard disrupts MARC, Amtrak service

November 05, 2010|By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun

Seven people received minor injuries Friday morning when two trains collided at low speed in the rail yard at Union Station in Washington, derailing five cars, Amtrak says.

Amtrak spokesman Steve Kulm said an Amtrak switching-yard locomotive, pulling the private Silver Foot passenger car and the Amtrak Dome Car, collided with a MARC Penn Line train shortly before 9:20 a.m. in the Washington rail yard. He said six Amtrak employees were taken to local hospitals with minor injuries while a passenger aboard the private car was injured but declined a trip to the hospital.

Kulm said the MARC train, consisting of a locomotive and seven passenger cars, had already discharged its passengers and that only crew was aboard. The crash occurred after most morning MARC commuters had arrived at Union Station, said Maryland Transit Administration spokesman David Clark.

According to Amtrak, the incident took place at a switch that controls a number of tracks for trains that operate south of Washington. In late afternoon, five of eight tracks were out of service. Amtrak said four of the MARC passengers cars derailed but remained upright.

The collision prompted Amtrak to briefly close the station to all MARC trains. It reopened in about an hour, though delays continued through much of the day. Kulm said Amtrak crews worked into the evening peak travel hours to remove the derailed cars as delays of both Amtrak and MARC trains persisted.

Some passengers reported that they were instructed Friday morning to take the Metro subway to New Carrollton to catch northbound MARC Penn Line trains.

Kulm said no cause of the collision has been identified. He said the matter is under investigation.

michael.dresser@baltsun.com

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