Crews repair Buford Highway damage after train cars derail

LAWRENCEVILLE - Construction crews worked Thursday to repair the road and railroad tracks damaged in a Wednesday evening train derailment.

After crews worked overnight to remove the two train cars that overturned near Buford Highway and Button Gwinnett Drive about 8:25 p.m. Wednesday, the highway was opened for morning rush-hour traffic, according to Georgia Department of Transportation spokeswoman Teri Pope.

Pope said the damaged tracks were removed prior to the opening, and drivers were warned to be cautious on the rough pavement.

At 9 a.m., two lanes of Buford Highway were closed so crews could complete the work, she said.

"The rail damage created roadway damage," Pope said, explaining that the asphalt around the tracks was pulled up when the tracks were bent. "The railroad crews did most of the repairs under our supervision. We monitored to make sure it was up to our standards as well as theirs."

Susan Terpay, spokeswoman for Norfolk Southern Corp. said officials have not determined the reason for the derailment.

She said there was a minor spill of diesel fuel, which was used to refrigerate items in the final two rail cars of a 21-car train. One employee was able to jump to safety just before the cars derailed, according to Gwinnett Fire Department Lt. Thomas Rutledge.

Terpay said trains have been allowed to run along the track.