Amtrak train derails outside DC’s Union Station; delays continue Friday

WASHINGTON — An Amtrak train derailed just outside Union Station shortly after noon Thursday, and commuters may still encounter residual delays Friday.

The train remained upright, and none of the more than 190 passengers on board reported any injuries, said Doug Buchanan, of D.C. Fire and EMS.

Amtrak said the train was Train 20, beginning in New Orleans and heading for New York. The lead engine derailed just south of Union Station at low speed, the train service said. D.C. Fire and EMS said one set of wheels came off while the train was in a tunnel about 150 yards from the station.

In addition to delays for other Amtrak trains, especially those to and from Richmond, VRE said the tracks it uses were blocked due to the incident.

VRE resumed regular morning service Friday, but VRE recommended passengers to get off at Alexandria, Crystal City or L’Enfant Plaza to avoid delays.

The Amtrak derailment also affected MARC Trains. Amtrak Train 151 service was completely canceled Friday morning and MARC customers were advised to ride MARC trains 517 or 525.

On Thursday, the first VRE trains of the afternoon — Trains 301 and 325 — had been held in the rail yard until the derailment response could clear, and were slated to start at L’Enfant Plaza instead of Union Station.

Trains 301 and 325 each departed L’Enfant Plaza around 3 p.m.

VRE said trains Thursday afternoon would be delayed. Manassas Line Train 335 is canceled; Trains 327, 331 and 337 will operate from Union Station and Trains 329 and 333 will run from L’Enfant Plaza.

Maryland’s MARC service said the derailment was south of the platforms at Union Station in the tunnel that leads in from Virginia, which means they don’t expect any significant impact on MARC service Thursday afternoon.

More than an hour after the derailment, Amtrak said the engine had been removed. The train left Union Station at about 3:40 p.m., about four and a half hours late.

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