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Port Authority’s Station Square light rail stop could open sooner than expected

September 1, 2018

A crews attempt to free a container near the T station on the South Side, Monday, August 6, 2018, where a Norfolk Southern freight train derailed around 1 p.m. Sunday and landed on Port Authority's tracks near Station Square.

The Port Authority of Allegheny County’s Station Square depot could open sooner than expected, an official said Friday.

Spokesman Adam Brandolph said contractors are “aggressively working” to repair light rail tracks and power lines near the station that were damaged Aug. 5 by a Norfolk Southern freight train derailment.

The seven freight cars loaded with household products and appliances that tumbled off tracks above the Station Square stop damaged 1,600 feet of light rail track, 4,000 feet of electrical lines, fiber optic cable and a concrete retaining wall.

Brandolph said contractors have replaced the track and are working to string new electrical lines and pour new concrete for the wall. He said Port Authority crews must test the fiber optic system for tracking and controlling trains before opening the station.

“We anticipate being able to open the rails sooner than the initial three- to four-week estimate, but that really, at this point, depends on how those tests go and whether we have cooperation with the weather,” he said. “On Monday they’re going to start hanging the 4,000 feet of power lines for the rail cars. It looks like the wall will be poured on Monday.”

He said the Port Authority will not total repair costs until the job is finished. Officials plan to seek reimbursement from insurance or the railroad.

Light rail riders will continue to experienced delays until the work is finished.

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