West Virginia

Harpers Ferry bridge fire affects train service

Trains traveling between D.C. and Chicago were canceled

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Emergency personnel received a call at about 3:45 p.m. Monday about a fire on a train trestle over the Potomac River between Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, and Sandy Hook, Maryland. It wasn't immediately known what caused the fire.

Trains traveling between D.C. and Chicago were canceled, but it is not yet known how long disruptions will impact CSX freight lines, Amtrak passenger lines and MARC trains.

In a statement, CSX thanked firefighters for their quick response and said, “Both passenger and freight rail operations will be suspended on the bridge until it can be inspected by our teams.CSX teams will work safely and expeditiously to make repairs on the impacted line.”

People dining nearby could see what happened.

“You could see the embers burning and stuff dropping into the river,” said Paul Leroy, a Maryland resident.

As they were taking in the breathtaking scenery, they almost had their breath taken away by acrid fumes.

“Black, and it smelled like creosote,” Leroy said.

A section of the Appalachian Trail runs parallel to the train tracks, but hikers weren’t letting the fire interrupt their trek.

“People were walking across that bridge, not that bridge, but the next bridge down, right through the smoke,” Leroy said.

At least a few tourists may have an unexpected extended stay.

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