Site of train crash in North Berwick to undergo repairs

Posted Sept. 21, 2011, at 10:53 a.m.

NORTH BERWICK, Maine — The section of train tracks affected by the July 11 tractor-trailer and train collision will be closed for most of day on Thursday.

The tracks will close at approximately 8:50 a.m. after Train 682 passes through the intersection. The tracks will reopen at approximately 7 p.m. with Train 687, according to Patricia Quinn, the executive director of the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority.

Since the collision, trains passing through that intersection have traveled 30 mph because of the damage caused to the tracks by the incident.

The tracks in that area will have ties repaired and will be resurfaced.

Quinn suggests that passengers check the website or signs posted within stations to see if their travel will be affected and whether alternative transportation will be offered.

On July 11, an 18-wheel tractor trailer truck collided with an Amtrak Downeaster train at the intersection. The driver of the truck, 35-year-old Peter Barnum of Farmington, N.H., was killed in the collision.

On Monday, the North Berwick Police Department released their findings from the crash investigation that stated the cause of the crash was due to driver distraction, possibly by the use of a mobile phone. The report did not indicate how the department came to this conclusion or whether there was a phone found in relation to the collision.

There is also a current pending civil suit against Triumverate Environmental Inc., the company that employed Barnum at the time of the collision, as well as the owners of the truck Barnum was driving at the time of the incident. The plaintiff’s claim, filed by the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, known informally as Amtrak, states that Barnum, despite working crossing guards, failed to yield to the oncoming train, causing the collision.

The company is asking for a possible $3 million in retribution costs for the collision from Triumverate, who has until Sept. 26 to file a defendant claim in the case.

© 2011 the Foster’s Daily Democrat

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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