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Wreck in rail yard causes some damage, no injuries

2 engines and 5 cars are banged up during a switching maneuver at the Conrail Yards. News Sports More Services

By Bruce C. Smith The Indianapolis Star

AVON, Ind. (March 10, 2000) -- Railroad crews worked Thursday afternoon to gingerly lift a massive diesel locomotive back onto the tracks after it derailed in a crash at the huge Conrail Yards in Avon. Gary Wollenhaupt, a spokesman for CSX Transportation, said two engines and five cars were damaged in the wreck.

He said there were no serious injuries to the crews. One engineer was shaken up and taken to the hospital for examination and released, the spokesman said.

The predawn accident occurred toward the east end of the railroad yard, just south of Avon Recreation Center golf driving range and Red Maple Village craft mall.

Wollenhaupt said one engine was switched onto a track where another engine already was parked.

The moving engine and cars backed into the parked engine, which was knocked off the tracks and tipped on its side.

The ends of four of the cars showed various amounts of damage, but clean-up crews were able to get them righted on the tracks and pull them free.

The fifth car, believed to be a refrigerated car with a load of fish and other food, was smashed into a crumpled pile on the tracks. The huge transport car was reduced to a lump of bent metal about the size of a backyard minibarn.

Wollenhaupt said most of the damage was cleared from the tracks by Thursday night.

The incident did not close the busy switching yards, but it did force some rerouting within the facility.

He said about 1,500 gallons of diesel fuel were spilled, but there were no other spills of chemical or toxic materials, which are carried in nearby transport cars within the yards.

-- Carl Jenkins (, March 13, 2000

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