Aftermath: Surviving a Train Wreck


33 Year Old Railfan
From the description of the video:
At 10:30 PM on the night of June 6th, 2019, Norfolk Southern intermodal train 25z, bound for Chicago, struck a vehicle that was parked on the mainline at North Main Street. Abandoned by the driver, the vehicle was struck at the track speed of 60MPH.

The speeding train, which was immediately thrown into emergency, derailed as the locomotives continued through the crossover switch at milepost 307. The vehicle was lodged in the switch, which caused many of the train’s cars and containers to jump the track.

There were no fatalities, but just barely. Living right next to the crossover, Ed Poitinger and his wife, Tia, were asleep in their home. They were immediately woke by the loud sound of the train as the intermodal containers piled high in their back yard, nearly crashing into their home.

The next morning, on June 7th, we set-up to document the derailment from Ed and Tia’s home. It truly was a miracle that they survived the wreck, considering these intermodal containers were only a few feet from smashing into their house and garage. Thankful to be alive, the Poitinger’s spoke with us about their frightening experience.

Throughout the day, Norfolk Southern would work tirelessly to clear the mainline of debris. With both tracks blocked and destroyed by the derailment, RJ Corman was called in to assist with the cleanup effort. With every passing minute, more and more high-priority freight trains were being delayed by the massive derailment.

With a population of 3,800 people, Swanton is the epitome of Small Town, USA. Located 18 miles to the west of downtown Toledo, Norfolk Southern’s Chicago Line runs right through the center of town. With an estimated train count of 60 per 24 hours, the Chicago Line, part of the NS Dearborn Division, is one of the busiest railroad lines in the United States.

This corridor is also the straightest double-track mainline in North America, with 67 miles of continuous straight track between Toledo, Ohio and Butler, Indiana. Built in the late 1850s, this line would become part of the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railroad and later, the New York Central System.

Due to the derailment, stopped trains in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania meant extreme congestion for this already busy mainline. With that in mind, we planned to return the following day to watch the levee break.

And here's the video:
Wow! I had a friend that lived that close to the tracks once, but fortunately nothing like that ever happened....