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Published: Thursday, 10/20/2005

Toledo derailment snarls train traffic

A Norfolk Southern train derailment snarled Toledo train traffic throughout the day yesterday, delaying several Amtrak passenger trains for hours.

No one was hurt and no hazardous materials were involved in the 4:15 a.m. derailment of a Chicago-bound train loaded with truck trailers and shipping containers, said Rudy Husband, a railroad spokesman.

The second of two engines and the first two of 22 cars derailed while the train was changing tracks at a crossover just west of a Maumee River railroad bridge near The Andersons grain facility in South Toledo, near the Amtrak station.

One of two main tracks reopened by about 8 a.m., but the second track remained closed for repairs through the day, creating a bottleneck that backed Norfolk Southern trains up as far away as LaSalle, Mich.

Two Chicago-bound Amtrak trains were caught in the congestion; each was delayed by about 5 hours. The New York-bound Lake Shore Limited was in the Toledo station when the freight derailed, and it lost 6 hours and 25 minutes.

The derailment was the second in a month involving a Norfolk Southern train changing tracks on the main line through Toledo. On Sept. 20, nearby residents were evacuated as a precaution after the rear 10 cars of an Indiana-bound freight train derailed near the Hawley Street underpass.

The causes of both derailments remain under investigation, Mr. Husband said.

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