The National Transportation Safety Board is on the case of the April 30 derailment of a train that was carrying crude in Virginia, but like all significant investigations, it will be some time before results and conclusions will be made.
“These incidents happen very quickly, but take time to go through,” Jim Southworth told reporters at an initial briefing on May 1. “We are simply gathering facts now before moving into the analytical phase. Depending on the complexity of this accident, it could take 6 months to a year-and-a-half before this investigation is finished.”
Members of the Federal Railroad Administration and several other agencies that have authority in various industries have also joined the effort, in addition to CSX Transportation's down investigation into what happened.
The train saw 13 cars derail after 2pm Eastern on April 30 as the CSX owned train was passing through Lynchburg, VA when it caught fire. While homes and business had been evaucated, most have reopened since the derailment.
Groups with various agencies will be checking out operations, as well as looking into train signals and communications, sharing the data on a daily basis, to determine what went wrong. According to reports, the 105-car train was going 24mph in a 25mph zone.
All train cars unaffected by the accident have been removed from the scene, leaving just the cars that had derailed. CSX has also reached out to the community by opening a public center to provide help to the affected businesses and residents.
The train was carrying crude from North Dakota, stopped in Chicago, and was enroute to Yorktown, VA, according to CSX.