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Fatal train derailment closes roads, stifles area business

The derailment that overturned 21 coal-carrying train cars in Ellicott City early Tuesday morning, killing two 19-year-olds, was expected to close Frederick Road for up to 30 hours while emergency workers cleared the scene.

Area businesses along the Baltimore and Howard county line in Ellicott City were also impacted and forced to close Aug. 21, and possibly beyond the day of the accident.

The B&O Railroad Museum Ellicott City Station is typically closed Tuesdays, but the accident will likely force closures on Wednesday and Thursday this week, Tom Hane site manager of the museum, said.

"They have a lot of work to do because we're so close to the tracks," Hane said, of the museum that sits just south of Main Street along the tracks.

It appears the museum at 2711 Maryland Ave. escaped damage from the derailment, but Hane said he can't be fully certain about that until after the area's recovery work is completed.

Hane said he could provide no further comment because the investigation is ongoing.

Nearby restaurant The Trolley Shop usually serves breakfast on weekdays starting at 8 a.m. but closed the morning after the accident.

"They don't want anyone in the area," said manager John Fields.

Fields said just before 10 a.m. on Tuesday that the restaurant planned to open for lunch, but employees had been slow to report to work.

"That's my job right now, to get them here," Fields said.

Two calls to the Old Mill Bakery Cafe, located next door to The Trolley Stop, on Tuesday morning were unanswered.

Sherri Trenary, owner of the Patapsco Horse Center in Oella, said she was awakened in the middle of the night to the sound of her dog barking at fire trucks racing down Frederick Road, but that she was not alarmed because she often hears emergency vehicles at night.

She said the accident has had no impact on her business, so far. "The train is far enough away from us that it hasn't affected us any," Trenary said.

Tony Poleski opened Family Affair Produce as usual at 10 a.m. but said he wouldn't know how the accident would affect his business, which sells fruits and vegetables about 1.5 miles east of the derailment on Frederick Road.

"There's no traffic going by," Poleski said just before 10 a.m. Aug. 21. "Other than that, I wouldn't know until later today."

Poleski's parents live about two minutes from where the derailment took place but slept through the accident, he said.

"I haven't heard anything. Besides, it's pretty much a mess down there," he said.

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