HAMMOND | The Chicago South Shore & South Bend Railroad is denying financial responsibility for a derailment involving a CSX freight train last year, in a brief filed in U.S. District Court Thursday.
CSX Transportation Inc. is suing the South Shore railroad, which operates commuter and freight lines, for $2.87 million over an April 8, 2012, collision between its train and a South Shore freight train on CSX tracks near the U.S. 12 overpass in Gary.
The collision derailed several box cars, including some that came to a stop standing on end. Firefighters had to extricate two people, including a CSX crew member who had a broken leg.
The CSX lawsuit blames the South Shore railroad for failing to stop or slow a freight train it was operating, even after one or more of its cars derailed. CSX claims it was unable to avoid a collision, causing its own cars to derail. Referencing a 1939 agreement with the South Shore railroad, CSX is seeking damages for destroyed equipment, locomotives and rail cars, as well as clean-up of the accident and claims to its customers.
In its answer to the CSX complaint, the South Shore railroad denies it failed to slow or stop movement of its freight train once a portion of it derailed, or that it dragged the derailed car, or cars, until they damaged the CSX No. 2 main track.
Although the South Shore admits damage occurred as a result of the derailment, the company denies any wholesale “destruction” occurred to CSX property. The South Shore railroad also denies any negligence on its part.
The South Shore railroad also contends the derailment arose out of a defect or imperfection in the interchange track it jointly owns with CSX.