Train derails, spills trash along tracks in Wyomissing


Work to clean up tons of smelly trash that spilled from a derailed freight train in Wyomissing is expected to take several days, officials said.

Six of the Norfolk Southern train's cars went off the tracks behind the Wyomissing Family Restaurant and Bakery on Penn Avenue around 9 p.m. Tuesday.

While investigators try to figure out what caused the derailment, cleanup crews are working to remove the mounds of municipal waste that spilled from the multiple containers on each of the toppled train cars.

"It smells like a dump," said Lester Jones, one of many onlookers who gathered in the Granite Point parking lot to watch the cleanup Wednesday. "I never realized they had just train loads of general garbage."

Norfolk Southern said the spill was contained to its property along the tracks, and the waste, despite the strong odor it's giving off, poses no harm to the environment, according to the West Side Regional Emergency Management Agency.

"It could have happened to a tanker train, so imagine if it was an oil train," said Tony Pecka, another onlooker. "Then, it would've been a lot worse."

The train was traveling from Oak Island, New Jersey, to Mingo Junction, Ohio, along one of Norfolk Southern's main routes in the Northeast. The mishap stopped trains from moving along the particular part of the line, backing up traffic all the way to Chicago, officials said.

No injuries were reported in the derailment, according to Norfolk Southern.