Two trains derail near Bywater-Marigny neighborhood divide

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wwltv.com

Posted on June 25, 2014 at 10:29 PM

Tania Dall / Eyewitness News
Email: tdall@wwltv.com | Twitter: @taniadall

NEW ORLEANS -- Two freight trains passing in the night derailed in the Bywater neighborhood of New Orleans.

Norfolk Southern Corporation, which operates the trains, said repairs should be complete by Thursday morning, reopening the rail line to trains.

However, the incident is unnerving to some neighbors worried about public safety.

"It's not surprising. The train has been a problem not only for Bywater residents, but Holy Cross and then St. Bernard Parish and north of St. Claude," said John Guarnieri with the Bywater Neighborhood Association.

Early Wednesday morning two freight trains tried passing each other along a stretch of Press Street between St. Claude Avenue and Dauphine Street, on the Bywater-Marigny neighborhood divide.

Then, something went wrong. Northfolk Southern Corporation, which operates mixed-freight trains along the line, confirms a derailment happened around 4 a.m.

Snapshots captured by David Rhoden show crews surveying the two-train derailment. A spokeswoman with Norfolk Southern said 11 cars derailed here, including a 2,000-ton locomotive on a second train.

According to the Virginia-based company, only one railroad car was carrying automobiles and the rest were empty. The train was on its way to pick up freight.

The overnight train derailment is concerning local residents like Guarnieri.

"We never know what's on those trains," said Guarnieri, "It's constantly blocking traffic for longer then the 15 minutes that's allowed. People get frustrated and they try to carry their bicycles over the parked rail cars. People zoom in and out of the streets in the neighborhood to beat the train. It's definitely a safety concern."

Neighbors tell Eyewitness News they'd like to see more done to make the railroad tracks in the area safe, especially with more pedestrian, motorist and bicycle-traffic increasing the neighborhood.

According to the city of New Orleans, the Fire Department responded to the train derailment and sent companies to investigate.

Again, Norfolk Southern said the track is expected to be fully repaired at some point early Thursday.

 

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