2 killed by freight train in Montco

Posted: May 19, 2014

Two men were killed Saturday morning by a Chicago-bound freight train in Upper Merion, authorities said.

The men were "walking directly in the middle of the westbound tracks next to each other" at the foot of the Betzwood Bridge in Valley Forge near the abandoned Valley Forge Park train station when they were struck and killed instantly by the Norfolk Southern train around 7:30 a.m., Upper Merion police said.

Montgomery County Coroner Walter Hofman said that the victims had been tentatively identified but that their names wouldn't be released until further examination of fingerprints and dental records.

The 4,544-ton train consisted of three locomotives and 36 loaded cars; it was traveling from Morrisville to Chicago, said David Pidgeon, spokesman for Norfolk Southern.

Pidgeon said the company does not release traveling speed, freight contents, or exact timetable information as a matter of policy. The track speed where the men were killed is rated at 50 miles per hour.

A conductor and engineer were on the train; they were not injured, Pidgeon said.

Valley Forge park rangers, Upper Merion police, and Norfolk Southern's own officers are investigating.


jlai@phillynews.com

856-779-3220

@elaijuh

This article contains information from the Associated Press.

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