News & Reviews News Wire NS train hits CSX train at Atlanta yard, leading to derailment and small fire (updated)

NS train hits CSX train at Atlanta yard, leading to derailment and small fire (updated)

By Trains Staff | November 17, 2023

| Last updated on February 2, 2024

No injuries reported in incident at CSX’s Howells Yard

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Fire between locomotive and derailed freight cars
A collision between Norfolk Southern and CSX trains led to a derailment and fire at CSX’s Howells Yard in Atlanta on Friday, Nov. 17. Screenshot from WXIA video.

ATLANTA — A collision between Norfolk Southern and CSX trains led to a derailment and fire this morning at CSX’s Howells Yard in northwest Atlanta.

CSX said in a statement that at 6:28 a.m. ET, “a Norfolk Southern train came in contact with a CSX train at an interchange point in Howells Yard .. causing a derailment. Preliminary information indicates that a total of eight railcars derailed. A locomotive fire was contained and has been extinguished.” The railroad says there were no injuries and no hazardous materials involved; an unknown quantity of diesel fuel and plastic pellets were released.

The incident was contained on CSX property and the railroad says there is no risk to the public.

WXIA-TV reports Atlanta Fire Rescue Department Deputy Chief James McLemore said 1,200 gallons of diesel fuel spilled and burned during the fire while 2,800 was contained within the locomotive, but CSX said in a later update that approximately 485 gallons of fuel were released. Some released fuel flowed into a nearby creek but has been contained.

— Note: Headline updated at 10:45 a.m. CST to clarify sequence of events; updated Nov. 18 at 8:40 a.m. CST with additional information.

12 thoughts on “NS train hits CSX train at Atlanta yard, leading to derailment and small fire (updated)

  1. It may not have anything at all to do with what happened, but I noted that both CSX locomotives are “remote control,” with the amber beacons on top of the cab. I’m just curious to know. Again, it may not have anything to do with the collision. Just noted.

  2. Competition is good, but knocking trains off your main competitors tracks is taking it a bit too far. Just sayin’.

  3. Did not happen at Howell as Amtrak #19 made thru Howell with no delay. Speculation but appears happened at Howells CP with a NS transfer train from Howells yard hitting a CSX freight on the old SAL main. Probably a NS transfer train on WNW leg of the Howells CP heading to Howell CP and then Inman yard.

    1. Was basing my guess off the WXIA report. All I had to go on. I’m curious at the apparent lack of damage to the nose of the CSX unit.

  4. Norfolk Southern said it is working with CSX Transportation to investigate the incident.

    Dr. Güntürk Üstün

  5. I went to the WXIA website and watched the report. It looks like it is at Howell near Inman. My guess is that CSX hit the NS train. When the Crescent would be terminated in Atlanta we often turned the train there. It appears this happened between Howell and King Plow. From my old eyes I’d say the NS train was coming around the connection. CSX possibly placed in emergency and stopped just close enough to make contact with the NS train. Puncturing the fuel tank and causing the NS train to derail. That’s my story and I’m sticking with it.

  6. Calm down, boys. Stephens and crew are reporting on the limited information available. If you want salacious speculation before all information is available, watch CNN.

    I’m sure more accurate information will follow in an update.

  7. More details to even have a hint of what happened.
    1. Was this a switching move by NS?
    2. “IF” this happened in Howells yard that is the old SAL yard.
    3. “IF” this was at Howells CP that is wye lead off old SAL track to Athens GA beyond Howell CP.4.
    4. “IF” this was at Howell CP where NS crosses the CSX ( Old L&N, ATL – CHA route ) could have been a regular NS freight from Greenvill sub crrossing over to NS Inman yard & BHM track.

    It is real easy for even RR persons not very familiar with the area to get all the Howell and Howells locations confused.

    1. You don’t even want to get started on the number of streets in Atlanta containing the word “Peachtree”…😂

  8. BREAKING news (would help if you didn’t do that POP-UP ad for that cap, TRAINS!) for once as the story is 4-5 hours old at most. BUT no word on what happened; photo makes it look like a rear ender. DO keep us informed and find out what happened. I recall reading that PTC doesn’t do yards, switching moves, and where trains’ rear ends really are very well—which was why I am suspicious of it.

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