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March 3, 2024 6:33 pm

Local News

Off the Tracks: Six Train Cars Derail in Marysville

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Parker Wallis

According to emergency dispatch, a Norfolk Southern train derailed at the Rockville Bridge in Marysville around 2 AM on December 2nd, causing traffic issues as well as power and internet outages in Marysville Borough. 

In a line of 150 cars, six of them went off the rails, and one was sent off the bridge. According to Perry County’s Emergency Management Agency, the derailed cars were empty, and no one was injured. 

“We don’t have any reports of injuries and there were no hazardous-material carrying cars involved in the derailment. NS personnel and contractors are on-scene cleaning up and making repairs,” a representative from Norfolk Southern told WGAL. The representative added that “there may be some localized road or lane closures to ensure everyone’s safety.”

A portion of South Main Street in Marysville has been shut down as crews work to clear the area. The cause for derailment has yet to be officially determined, and it is currently unclear when crews will be finished and roads in the area will reopen. 

The incident resulted in a damaged fiber cable (confirmed with abc27 by both Comcast and Verizon), causing subsequent power, phone, and internet outages in the area. The damage is expected to affect several Midstate school districts since the Capital Area Intermediate Unit (CAIU) provides internet access to schools in four counties through these fiber cable lines. 

“So it is a pretty big disruption,” said CAIU director of technology David Martin. He noted that CAIU has a backup provider in cases of outages but it cannot be used since the main fiber cable was cut.

Comcast and Verizon both said in statements that crews are on site and ready to restore service as soon as emergency officials confirm that the area is safe. Officials said they are prioritizing removing the rail cars from affected roadways before utility companies move in for repairs. Martin said Comcast is working to provide a temporary fix for the outage but is unsure when service will be fully restored.

“There wasn’t much we could do except for notify people and on throughout the day so they know that it’s still progressing, we’re still waiting for feedback from our provider,” said Martin. “Our hope is that we would have something by this weekend so that when we start next week that we’re ready to go.”

Rockville Bridge, known to be the longest stone masonry arch railroad viaduct ever built, actually has a history of train-related incidents dating all the way back to 1977. Train derailments occurred in 1997, 2010, 2016, and 2020, and shipping containers fell off the train in 2011. 

Hopefully utility personnel can restore services soon in addition to officials identifying the cause of the incident.