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Footbridge Remains Closed In Harpers Ferry Following Train Derailment

Empty CSX rail cars derailed on the morning of Saturday, Dec. 21, 2019 near Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.
Courtesy Washington County, Md.
Empty CSX rail cars derailed on the morning of Saturday, Dec. 21, 2019 near Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.

Updated on Jan. 2, 2020 at 1:30 p.m.

The pedestrian footbridge remains closed, according to the National Park Service. However, all areas that were temporarily closed, such as John Brown's Fort and The Point, have now reopened.

Visitors will be unable to cross between Harpers Ferry and C&O Canal via the towpath. Visitors are also unable to cross from Harpers Ferry to the Maryland Heights trail.

The footbridge is part of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail. Hikers should check with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy for updates about the trail.

The derailment affected access to parts of Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, Chesapeake & Ohio National Historical Park, and the Appalachian National Scenic Trail.

Original Post:

A freight train derailed as it crossed the Potomac River near Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, sending two cars into the water and damaging a footbridge that is part of the Appalachian Trail.

CSX said in a statement that there were no injuries early Saturday morning when seven cars in total derailed. CSX said all the cars were empty and no hazardous materials were involved.

CSX said the cause of the derailment is under investigation and it will work swiftly to clean up and restore the area.

The National Park Service said the derailment closed access to some parts of Harpers Ferry National Historic Park and the Chesapeake & Ohio National Historic Park.

Photos released by the park service showed damaged to a footbridge that's attached to the CSX bridge and is a part of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail. The park service said that footbridge was closed indefinitely and referred hikers to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy for updates.


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