Sep. 30—OLD FORGE — The town of Webb Police Department is helping with an investigation involving a seven-car rail derailment in the hamlet of Beaver River Station that may have been caused intentionally.
According to Webb police Chief Ronald W. Johnston, the derailment happened at around 12:45 p.m. Tuesday on Norridgewock Lake Road at the Beaver River crossing.
The train was proceeding north over a switch for a siding at the crossing when cars in the middle of the train began to derail after the locomotive and a second car had already cleared the switch.
It involved a work train that was being operated by the Adirondack Railroad traveling from the Thendara station northerly to the Sabbattis station. There were no injuries reported and no hazardous materials were involved, the chief said.
The cars that were derailed were hopper cars that were empty at the time of derailment. These cars are generally used for transporting ballast along the railroad line.
Chief Johnston said Thursday that a preliminary investigation has shown that there was no apparent mechanical issue with the switch, leading investigators to believe that someone may have intentionally sabotaged the switch.
In order to find out the cause of the derailment, multiple agencies will assist the Webb Police Department. The derailment scene, which is in a remote location, is being accessed from the Stillwater Reservoir access point.
The agencies involved include the state Department of Transportation Investigation Bureau, Federal Railroad Administration, along with Adirondack Railroad officials and their general managing firm, Hudson Consulting.
According to the Adirondack Railroad website, the Adirondack Railway Preservation Society is a nonprofit organization that since 1992 has been a popular tourist attraction. It typically offers passenger trips through scenic vistas. As a volunteer-based organization, the volunteers have given about 400,000 hours of their time to help protect the railway.
Attempts to reach Adirondack Railroad representatives Thursday were unsuccessful.