WHITEHALL -- Officials are investigating why a train derailed on Saturday, blocking traffic on William Street.
"We're still sorting out the information on the downloads from the engines, but it appears there were some empty cars going through the curve, and one of them hopped off and caused the others to hop off," said David Wulfson, president of Vermont Rail System.
The derailed train blocked South William Street on Saturday morning until about 8 a.m.
The train, which was pulling 50 cars, was headed west to Whitehall from Rutland, Vt., when about a dozen of the cars derailed between South William Street and the railroad trestle over Wood Creek.
"The train was not going too fast; we know that already, but I'm still sorting out some of the other information," said Wulfson, who believes the placement of loaded cars behind empty cars contributed to the accident.
No injuries or spills were reported. Wulfson said the tracks were cleared by Saturday night, and the cars were all back on track as of noon Monday.
"There's a company called Winter's Rigging, which has a big bulldozer with cranes on the side that can pick up the rail cars and move them," he said.
Although it is not common, Wulfson said freight trains do sometimes derail.
"Once is too much as far as I'm concerned," he said.
Amtrak spokesman Cliff Cole said the railway was functioning normally for Amtrak's use the following day.
"We did use it. We were able to run our Ethan Allen Service on Sunday," he said.
Amtrak's Ethan Allen Express, which takes passengers from New York City to Rutland, Vt., travels on the Vermont Rail System line through Whitehall.
The Vermont Rail System, which is based in Burlington, Vt., runs freight and passenger trains, intermodal shipping and motor carriers on more than 230 miles of railroad. It also operates a reload/warehouse facility near Bellows Falls, Vt.
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