A CSX train bearing coal cars derailed just west of the James Street Bridge over the James River going into the community of Eagle Rock in north Botetourt County. CSX employees on site were silent as they busied themselves along the track and road. Crews from Fincastle and Eagle Rock responded to the call. Eagle Rock fire chief Darrell Johns confirmed that 12 to 15 cars were part of the major derailment that stretched down the track for about a quarter of a mile and a total of 23 was the number given by a CSX official. The area was shut down to through traffic north on Rt. 43. The train took out a power line, and Dominion Power was on the scene as well.
Eagle Rock resident Dee Dee Bruce and her son Daniel, a JRHS student, took photos along the scene. In places the derailment was right next to the road with twisted and torn cars tossed and askew of the tracks and farther down closer to the bridge, the cars were just barely off the track. To Bruce’s knowledge this is only the second major derailment in that area of the tracks since the 1970s. Her father was an engineer for the railroad. The locomotive sat silent on the tracks seemingly normal just north of the battered cars.
Susan Owen of the Eagle Rock Rescue Squad said the tracks had recently been replaced. Her power went off before she got the call and Owen lives up Craig Creek Road.
A small fire was reported immediately after the derailment but had been extinguished by the time photos were taken. Click here for a photo gallery.
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To read the breaking news item on roanoke.com, click here.