Freight train strikes Manayunk Canal bridge

Just before 2 p.m. on Monday, a freight train traveling behind Main Street in Manayunk struck a pedestrian bridge along the Manayunk Canal. 

Dave Pidgeon with Norfolk Southern said the company’s train was traveling on a local line when it struck an “overhead cast iron pipe” behind Cafe Volo. 

“We’re looking into how that happened and what the pipe leads to,” Pidgeon said. 

No injuries were reported but the accident knocked down one tree and left debris along the Manayunk Towpath, which was reopened last month after weeks of renovations.  

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Martin Maaskant, an illustrator, was drawing at Cafe Volo just around the corner when the train struck. He had headphones on at the time and didn’t hear the crash. 

“My girlfriend works upstairs and she texted me, ‘Did you feel the building shake?’. I said ‘no’,” said Maaskant. “She said, ‘go out back and look’. I came out here and this had just happened. The conductor was getting out of the train and looking at everything.”

Pidgeon says the accident is still under investigation. Officer Tanya Little, a spokeswoman for the Philadelphia Police Department, had no record of the incident. 

Aaron Moselle contributed to this report. 

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