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Published: Sunday, 3/28/2010

Monroe, Michigan-bound freight train derails in Indiana


WATERLOO, Ind. — A Michigan-bound Norfolk Southern Corp. train carrying hundreds of tons of coal derailed Friday evening in northeastern Indiana, closing the track and disrupting weekend rail traffic into and out of Chicago.

Norfolk Southern spokesman Rudy Husband said 38 cars on the 126-car train derailed in Waterloo, about 50 miles east of Elkhart. Coal spilled onto the tracks and ground, requiring a large cleanup that continued Saturday.

The train was headed from Chicago to a Detroit Edison coal-fired power plant in Monroe, Mich. No injuries have been reported, and the cause is unknown.

Husband called the closure a “significant disruption” to the railroad's operations. More than 100 freight trains travel the line daily.

He did not offer an estimate on when the track would be reopened but said crews “are working safely and quickly” as possible.

Amtrak said in a statement the derailment also forced cancellations of its Washington-to-Chicago trains on Saturday and detours for its New York-to-Chicago train on Saturday. Passengers continued to experience significant delays on the detoured route.

Alternate transportation was being provided for passengers traveling between Chicago and Toledo, Ohio.

Detroit Edison spokesman John Austerberry said the derailment was not expected to cause any disruption to the plant, which has about a four-week supply of coal.

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