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Alexandria Train Derailment: Washout From Rain The Possible Cause - Source Patch

Posted on Jun 13,2018
Filed Under News , Community,

Images via NTSB

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By Emily Leayman

ALEXANDRIA, VA. — The National Transportation Safety Board released its initial findings of the May 19 freight train derailment in Alexandria, suggesting part of the track could have been unsupported and washed out by rain.

Investigators found that the subgrade material had subsided for a 26-foot area of the tracks. The rocks had been 18 inches lower than they were supposed to have been. Drone footage taken after the freight cars had been cleared show the material subsided from the tracks. Investigators also say a flange mark had traversed over the top of the rail head in the curve and the at the location of the subsided material.

In the ten days leading up to the derailment, more than five and a half inches of rain fell in the area. At the time of the accident, conditions had been cloudy with light rain. The train had been traveling at 38 mph, which is below the speed limit.

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