HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Amtrak riders will be delayed leaving Harrisburg today. Two empty freight cars derailed from a Norfolk Southern train near the Harrisburg station. All eastbound trains arriving at the station are currently blocked.
There were no injuries.
The derailment occurred at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday afternoon along the tracks under the State Street bridge in Harrisburg. The two empty boxcars were part of a fleet headed towards the Norfolk Southern station in Enola. The cause of the accident was unknown as of Wednesday afternoon, but a contractor and investigators were on their way to the scene, according to Norfolk Southern spokesperson Dave Pidgeon.
Norfolk Southern's tracks were too close to Amtrak's line for any incoming trains to approach, which caused the shutdown of any westbound trains this afternoon, and a potential nightmare for travelers on what is considered the busiest traveling day of the year.
People coming into Harrisburg from eastbound stations were told to get off the train and board buses which would take them up to Lewistown, Pa. There, they would be able to get back on the train and continue their trip. Approximately 350 people waited in Harrisburg's Amtrak station beginning at 3 p.m. for buses to arrive. By 4:30 p.m., the lobby was empty, and all buses had left with their passengers.
An Amtrak worker said he did not anticipate any delays on Thursday, with the only scheduled train headed west to depart at 2:36 p.m.