UNION, NJ – No hazardous material was involved in the freight train derailment Friday afternoon in Union.

“There’s severe damage to the tracks,” said Union Fire Chief Mike Scanio at a press conference Friday evening.  “There’s multiple piles of cars at different locations up and down the span of the tracks from the Roselle Park line all the way through to the Union Train Station.”  The CSX Transportation train was on its way to Selkirk, New York.

Scanio said there was no danger to the area from hazardous material.  “Hazmat has cleared the entire scene,” he said.  Every freight car was empty.  Scanio said there was only an engineer and conductor aboard the train at the time of the derailment.  Neither were injured.

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Businesses in the area as well as the townhomes on Green Lane near the Union Train Station were evacuated as a precaution until about 5:00 p.m., said Scanio.  “Upon arrival, we weren’t sure exactly what we had.”

The first car to derail was the second car behind the engine, according to Fred Fretz, Township of Union Emergency Management Coordinator.    “That’s where the derailment started and then it worked itself back.”

Jocelyn Hill, a ConRail spokesperson, said the train and crew were from CSX, but ConRail owns the tracks.  The scene has been turned over to ConRail.  Contractors are working to remove the derailed cars and allow for Conrail to begin track restoration.

Buses will continue to replace trains between Cranford, Roselle Park, Union and Newark Penn Stations.

On Saturday, December 9 and Sunday, December 10, buses will replace trains between Cranford and Newark stations in both directions.

  • Inbound/eastbound trains heading toward Cranford will operate on normal weekend schedules through Cranford where customers may board buses to continue east towards Newark.
  • Outbound/westbound trains will depart Cranford approximately 30 minutes later than normal due to substitute busing.

For questions or additional information, please call NJ TRANSIT Customer Service at (973) 275-5555 between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. daily.