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Port Authority seeking nearly $3 million from train company after Station Square derailment

PITTSBURGH — The Port Authority of Allegheny County has submitted an invoice totaling nearly $3 million to Norfolk Southern Corporation following the August freight train derailment in Station Square.

The itemized invoice seeking reimbursement for repairs was submitted last week.

"Last year's freight train derailment at Station Square had a significant impact on our light rail operations and inconvenienced thousands of daily riders, causing them to miss work, school and doctor's appointments," Port Authority CEO Katharine Kelleman said in a news release. "Port Authority, our riders and the local economy paid the price, and we are now asking Norfolk Southern to reimburse us for the cost of repairs. Taxpayers and Port Authority patrons should not be burdened with the repair costs for this unfortunate event."

When the double-stacked freight train derailed Aug. 5, several cars carrying household products fell from a hillside and crashed into the Port Authority’s Station Square light rail station. Nobody was hurt.

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The Station Square Station and the Monongahela Incline were closed, and rail vehicles were detoured for 20 days while repairs were made.

According to the news release, the Port Authority incurred the following costs:

  • $1.5 million for contractors
  • $936,000 for Port Authority employee labor
  • $380,000 for materials and equipment
  • $93,000 in lost revenue

Norfolk Southern officials told the Federal Railroad Administration in November that a broken rail caused the incident. At the time, 11 Investigates reported that Norfolk Southern conducted several inspections on the tracks prior to the derailment, but no problems were found.

Channel 11 contacted Norfolk Southern and a spokesperson said they are aware of the invoice and can't say how long the review might take, but the company will proceed in as timely a manner as possible.