On August 20, 2012, about 11:54 p.m. eastern daylight time, an eastbound CSX
Transportation (CSXT) coal train, U81318, derailed the first 21 cars at milepost
(MP) 12.9 while crossing the railroad bridge over Main Street on the Old Main
Line (OML) Subdivision in Ellicott City, Maryland. The train consisted of two
locomotives and 80 loaded coal cars; the train length was 4,227 feet and the
weight was 9,873 trailing tons. Seven of the derailed cars fell into a public
parking area that was below and north of the tracks. The remainder of the
derailed cars overturned and spilled coal along the north side of the
Prior to the train crossing the bridge, two individuals entered the railroad
right-of-way on the north side of the railroad bridge that crossed Main Street.
They climbed over a short wooden fence and entered CSXT property without
authorization to access the railroad bridge. They were sitting on the bridge
during the derailment. Both individuals were killed by the spilled coal.
The CSXT train crew consisted of an engineer, a conductor, and an engineer
trainee. No crewmembers were injured. At the time of the accident, the sky was
cloudy and dark, the wind was calm, and the temperature was 65°F. The damage was
estimated to be $1.9 million.