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First publish date: 05-09-2006
CSXT Akron, OH Derailment Caused by Vandals
Investigators at the site of an early Monday morning derailment of a CSX Transportation coal train in Akron, Ohio have determined that vandalism was the apparent cause of the mishap.

At approximately 01:20 EST on Monday, CSXT train U839-07 collided with 14-foot switch ties that had been placed within the gauge of the New Castle Subdivision at CP-Lambert in Akron, OH. The resulting aftermath was the derailment of two Union Pacific-owned locomotives and ten loaded coal hoppers of the 103-car train. The train was traveling from Wyoming's Powder River Basin to Baltimore, Maryland.

There were luckily no serious injuries to the crew, although both members were 'shaken up' by the incident.

Police Lt. Rick Edwards said it appears that vandals set two railroad ties along the track. The heavy wooden ties had been lying at the site because they were to be replacements for old ties in the CP-Lambert interlocking.

Three cars were destroyed, along with a shed - known as Lambert Tower (although not a tower by today's considerations) - containing electrical wiring that controls signals on the tracks. Damage to the train and shed was estimated at $600,000.

The New Castle Subdivision normally carries 15 to 20 trains a day, some of which were rerouted to other railroads during the line's closure. Traffic through the wreck site was restored by 20:00 EST on Monday night.

CSX is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of whoever was responsible, Sullivan said. "The act of vandalism was extremely dangerous," he said. "It endangers the community, the emergency responders who have to respond to an incident, the train crew and it can endanger the people who are committing the act itself."

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