Residents were allowed back in their homes in East Aurora Tuesday morning after an evacuation Monday night due to a train derailment in the heart of the village.
Fifteen rail cars, including two locomotive engines, came off the tracks in the vicinity of Main and Elm streets, forcing officials to close portions of routes 16 and 20A and evacuate homes containing more than 40 residents. No injuries were reported. Road closures and evacuations were lifted before dawn.
A cleanup of diesel fuel will be required after the train's engine spilled its fuel during the incident. Early inspections indicate the rail line incurred no damage.
The cause of the derailment is under investigation, but Lt. Patrick Welch of the East Aurora Police Dept. says that it is believed to be the result of a track malfunction without any foul play likely. The derailment ocurred near a switch in the track just off Main Street, he said.
Overpasses at Olean Road, Oakwood and Main Street were being inspected and traffic beneath them is not affected. Main Street traffic is expected to be shut down briefly on Tuesday as large equipment is moved in to remove the locomotives.
The locomotives were off the tracks along Riley Street, just after the Main Street overpass, in parking lots adjacent to The Riley Street Station, a restaurant in a former depot.
The train tracks stretch alongside Route 16 , with cars on the track from Main Street to Lapham Road.
The focus of the cleanup efforts were on Riley Street near a diesel spill from the locomotives, but cars derailed along the length of the train, behind homes on Olean Road, and near the Community Pool. (pictured R)
The Federal Railway Administration is joining with state officials to investigate.