News & Reviews News Wire NS derailment damages Southern Railway heritage unit

NS derailment damages Southern Railway heritage unit

By Trains Staff | December 13, 2021

| Last updated on April 1, 2024

No one injured when locomotives overturn after hitting rock slide in Pittsburgh

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Green, gold, and white locomotive on its side in darkness, headlight still illuminated
Norfolk Southern’s Southern Railway heritage unit was leading a train that derailed early Sunday after hitting a rock slide. Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire

Damaged railcars and containers
Sunday’s derailment involved an intermodal train en route from Chicago to New Jersey. Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire

PITTSBURGH — Norfolk Southern’s Southern Railway heritage unit, ES44AC No. 8099, was among two locomotives damaged when a train hit a rock slide and derailed early Sunday in Pittsburgh’s Baldwin Borough.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports the derailment occurred about 4 a.m. along the Monongahela River paralleling State Route 837, with both locomotives overturning and five cars of the intermodal train derailing. The Southern heritage unit was leading the train. No injuries were reported and no hazardous materials were involved.

NS spokesman Connor Spielmaker told the newspaper that the 100-car tran was en route from Chicago to New Jersey. The status of the locomotive has yet to be determined.

The rock slide came after the area had been hit by rain and high winds, with up to a half-inch of rain reported in some areas.

Overturned locomotive illuminated by small light on ground
No injuries were reported in the derailment early Sunday morning in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire

9 thoughts on “NS derailment damages Southern Railway heritage unit

  1. It appears from what I have seen and heard; the main factor is damage to the frame. If that is the case, and insurance will cover total loss, beyond repair, the current management is certainly NOT “The Men Who Loved Trains” and have no nostalgic inclination. Even if repaired, it would be my guess that they would paint it black.

  2. If I remember correctly, the N&W heritage unit, No. 8103, sustained handrail damage on a coal train a few years back. She was repaired and returned to service. From how the 8099 looks, the most she’ll need are new ditch lights and a snowplow along with several other repairs. I have full faith in the folks at Juniata that she’ll be back hauling trains in a few months.

  3. This section of the Mon Line has suffered from numerous rockslides over the years, including at least two others that resulted in derailments like this. This is in spite of efforts to remove unstable rock from the hillside in this area and other similar places. The railroad at CP Beck is two tracks right up against the hillside on a 4 track right of way, and I don’t understand why the tracks weren’t moved to the river side of the right of way where the chance of rockslides would be much less.

  4. Since there is no more Norfolk in Norfolk Southern’s leadership, what are the chances this heritage unit will be replaced if it can’t be fixed?

    1. I dunno…If all the leadership is now “Southern”, I’d think it would be likely that they would want to restore/replace their (fallen) flagship loco.

    2. The SR/NW merger was 39 years ago, not to many premerger old heads left in management ranks.

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