AYER, Mass. — Cleanup and investigative efforts are continuing Friday after a freight train carrying trash and recyclables derailed on Thursday.
As of 9:30 a.m. Friday, four of the five derailed cars had been recovered and moved from the site, according to CSX. Cleanup will continue until the area is fully cleared.
Update from @CSX on cleanup efforts after yesterday’s derailment in #Ayer: pic.twitter.com/FuHO6BEDH5— Kelly Sullivan (@ksullivannews) March 24, 2023
CSX railcars toppled off the tracks onto their sides in the area of Sculley Road around 12 p.m. Thursday, according to the Ayer Fire Department.
The train wasn’t carrying hazardous materials, according to the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency. It wasn’t moving when it derailed.
Each of the derailed cars was carrying double-stacked containers, and a total of 10 were dislodged, MEMA noted. The contents of the sealed containers didn’t spill.
A Boston 25 photographer flew a drone over the scene and spotted damage to the railcars and containers.
In a statement, CSX said that the derailment occurred on a line jointly owned with Norfolk Southern.
“We are working closely with local first responders to assess the situation and develop a recovery plan,” a CSX spokesperson said.
A Norfolk Southern spokesperson said, “While the rail line itself is jointly owned, it is operated by a wholly-owned subsidiary of CSX.”
Fitchburg Line commuter rail trains were able to pass by because the incident was located on a side track, but MBTA officials said commuters should expect delays while work in the area continues.
⚠️Fitchburg Line passengers may experience delays up to 15 minutes in both directions as trains continue to operate at reduced speed through the Ayer area.— MBTA Commuter Rail (@MBTA_CR) March 24, 2023
This restriction allows crews to re-rail a freight train from yesterday's derailment on CSX territory.
Machines and crews were still working along the rail line Friday morning, trying to upright the cars.
The derailment was the talk of the town Thursday afternoon.
“I don’t know I’m just kind of blown away, I haven’t seen the whole thing but I’m looking on the other side and I’m glad that I don’t live on that side,” Miriam Sayer told Boston 25 News.
John Ford added, “The tracks on that side looked a little suspicious to us for a while now, they kind of have a tendency to bow and that might be a little normal I don’t know the standard for safety and protocol in railways but the tracks themselves looked like they were titled a little bit.”
There were no reported injuries in the derailment.
An investigation remains ongoing.
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