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Cause of August's dramatic Station Square train derailment identified

PITTSBURGH — The cause of the August freight train derailment in Pittsburgh’s Station Square has been determined.

Investigators said a broken Norfolk Southern rail line led to the train derailing on the hillside above Carson Street.

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Several train cars fell onto Port Authority of Allegheny County light rail tracks, which were subject to a lengthy closure. Streets in the area, such as Carson Street, were also closed.

Norfolk Southern said a total of seven train cars, which were carrying dozens of shipping containers, derailed. The train was transporting mostly consumer goods.


There were several inspections of the tracks prior to the derailments.

“In the course of our inspections, if we had any reason to believe there was a problem with the rail, we would have repaired it,” said Norfolk Southern spokesman Rudy Husband.

The Port Authority said 1,600 feet of track and 4,000 feet of overhead power lines were replaced, with additional repairs to a concrete retaining wall, sidewalk and drainage inlets.

The Federal Railroad Administration is continuing its investigation into the accident.

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