- Associated Press - Thursday, August 23, 2012

ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (AP) — CSX trains were expected to begin moving through Ellicott City Thursday, resuming freight service on a route that was blocked after a train derailment killed two young women, company officials said.

The derailment happened around midnight Monday when 21 cars of an 80-car freight train derailed. Two 19-year-old women who were sitting on one side of a train bridge were found buried under coal the train was carrying. Funerals for the two women, Elizabeth Conway Nass and Rose Louese Mayr, were planned for Friday and Saturday. An investigation into the derailment is ongoing.

Howard County spokeswoman Alexandra Bresani said the roadway would remain closed until the on-site investigation and removal of the coal was finished.

“We’re making good progress but it’s quite a bit,” CSX spokesman Gary Sease said, noting most of the 21 derailed cars dumped their entire 110-ton load in the accident.

The rail carrier has been using an alternate line through the area while the Ellicott City line is closed.

“So, the impact on our train operations has not been significant due to the fact that we do have this alternate line,” Mr. Sease said.

Despite the availability of the alternate line, CSX is not considering shutting the Ellicott City line, which passes through the heart of the historic mill town.

“While we do have that alternate line there is quite a bit of freight traffic to our customers over both of those lines, so it provides a valuable capacity for our business of serving the freight needs of our customers,” Mr. Sease said. “So, it is an important line but it’s one that we do have an alternate for at this point.”