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Train derailment leaves mangled mess of rail cars just feet from Chester County home

Woman feels worried about her safety after train derailed into her yard in Chester County
Woman feels worried about her safety after train derailed into her yard in Chester County 02:48

NEWLIN TOWNSHIP, Pa. (CBS) -- A train jumped the tracks in Chester County, ending up just a few feet from the side porch and garage of a home. Crews have brought in heavy equipment to clean up the mangled mess of steel and debris.

The derailment took place in Newlin Township.

For the second time in about two years, Trudie Powell says rail cars were offloaded and lifted after landing in her backyard near Coatesville, Chester County. She was sitting on her back deck, drinking a glass of iced tea, when all of a sudden she saw train cars heading right towards her house.

"The engineer had just gone by and waved to me and I waved back to him, and all of a sudden I heard all this screeching and looked up and this car was coming right toward me," Powell said.

Those cars landed right in her backyard. Two days later, they are still there.

A car hauling flour slammed on top of her septic system. Other cars carrying sunflower oil and lumber launched trees into the air and destroyed her swimming pool.

"The most thing I was fortunate about is my grandchildren weren't here because, literally, they would be in the pool with me every day," Powell said.

The tracks are now obliterated after axels and wheel wells broke off.

This railroad helps drive the local economy here heading towards a mill in Coatesville.

But according to the Federal Railroad Association, the railroad has reported an accident each year since 2017.

Friday afternoon, crews are working to unload the cars and get them upright and out of Powell's yard.

It's still unclear what caused the derailment. CBS3 reached out to the president of East Penn RR multiple times Friday but he hasn't called back.

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