Later Tuesday, Paige Fuss, owner of Ellicott City Weddings and Events, said that youths and other people often hang out near the railroad tracks.

"It's not just kids. Tourists to the area" go up there as well, she said, as she worked on a makeshift memorial for the young women. "You look up there, it's sort of cool to stand up there and take pictures of the city."

Sherry Llewellyn, a police spokeswoman, said it is not unusual to find people close to the railroad tracks, but that it wasn't a major problem.

"We do see that from time to time — sometimes teenagers, sometimes homeless people," she said. "It's not an ongoing, significant issue. … We keep an eye on it."

Asked about teenagers drinking in the area, Llewellyn noted there has been no finding that alcohol was a factor in the deaths of the women, and said she didn't want to make "a blanket statement' about alcohol use.

"Sometimes young people congregate and do things that young people do," she said.

The derailment is the third accident this month in Maryland involving a CSX train, and the second partial derailment in Howard County, on the railway's Old Main Line from Relay to Point of Rocks.

Baltimore Sun reporters Mary Gail Hare, Ed Gunts, Arthur Hirsch and Yvonne Wenger and Baltimore Sun Media Group reporters Lindsey McPherson and Brian Conlin contributed to this article.

krector@baltsun.com

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