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WATERLOO, IN – On Friday evening, March 26, 2010, a train on the way to Michigan derailed in Waterloo, Indiana and spilled 5500 tons of coal. Waterloo is located in the north eastern part of the state about 152 miles north east of Indianapolis and about 25 miles north of Fort Wayne.

View of Friday's train derailment in Waterloo, IN from the intersection of Center St and Van Vleek. Photo credit: Freda Dickey

Thirty eight Norfolk Southern cars derailed in the mishap. According to a company spokesman, the train was headed from Chicago, IL to Monroe, MI. Although there is no official word on the cause of the accident, the Waterloo town board president said that the cause may have been due to a broken axle on one of the train cars. A spokesperson from Norfolk-Southern could not confirm this, however.

One person who was at the scene Friday said that they saw a wheel came loose as the train was pulling away when the train derailed and spilled coal all over the tracks and ground. The Waterloo Amtrack Station is located on the north side of the tracks right at the scene of the derailment.


There were no reported injured railroad employees at the time of the incident.

The track in Waterloo is part of the Norfolk Southern main line in the region that runs to Chicago.  A company official said that the railway line usually sees about 50 trains per day go through. It is an important line because when it shuts down, Norfolk Southern loses millions of dollars.

Location of train derailment in Waterloo, IN near the Amtrack station just west of Center St.

Below is a Google street view of the tracks from Wayne Street looking west in the direction where the train derailment occurred. You can click the mouse button and drag it to pan around the scene of the train accident.
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West Railroad Street and West Van Vleek Street were closed between Center Street and South Wayne while the coal was cleaned up by the fire department.

The Norfolk Southern tracks were reopened on Sunday after a number of crews worked through the weekend to cleanup the area.

Gordon, Elias & Seely, LLP, is a top nationwide FELA lawyer law firm representing railroad workers injured on the job who need experienced lawyers knowledgeable in the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA). FELA is not workers compensation and it governs the employee’s right to recovery, governing the rights and remedies of railroad employees. For more information about FELA, Indiana FELA Law, and FELA rights, contact an experienced FELA attorney through Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P. for expert advice. Call 800.773.6770.

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