OLD TOWN, Maine — Pan-Am Railways officials on Wednesday morning brought in a crane to lift the boxcars that jumped the tracks Tuesday and blocked access to French Island for a time, Old Town Fire Deputy Chief Steve O’Malley said.
Several train cars went off the tracks at about 11 a.m. Tuesday and blocked Front, Bosworth and Howard streets, the three access points to French Island from U.S. Route 2.
“Front [Street] was opened yesterday afternoon,” O’Malley said. “That was our main focus — to get at least one lane of traffic open. That happened at about 1:30 p.m.”
Bosworth Street was reopened at about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
“They moved all the rail cars except for the four by Howard Street,” O’Malley said. “The problem with the ones remaining is they are off the track and they are leaning.”
A crane was being used to removed those Wednesday morning, he said. After they are gone, repair crews will have to fix the damaged rail line.
When the derailment occurred, none of the cars tipped over and no hazardous materials were spilled, officials said. The boxcars that jumped their tracks and sat leaning to one side contained paper goods. The 33-car train did have some containers hauling LP gas, but they were a safe distance away from the derailed cars, fire officials said Tuesday.
O’Malley said the railroad line is used quite heavily, but he didn’t have specific numbers.
Howard Street was expected to open later Wednesday, he said.