Two Conrail freight trains collided last night east of Baltimore, injuring six crew members, spilling diesel fuel and blocking three of the four tracks that are shared by freight and passenger traffic, authorities reported.
The collision occurred about 10:30 p.m. on the Northeast Corridor rail line near Eastpoint, derailing at least three diesel locomotives.
Conrail spokesman Chris Mykrantz said the collision involved a train heading from Baltimore to Harrisburg with 54 cars carrying highway trailers, and a train with 122 loaded cars carrying coal from Harrisburg to Baltimore.
Six Conrail employees were reported injured -- none seriously.
The spill of locomotive diesel fuel was described as minor by Baltimore County Fire Battalion Chief Ralph Nelson. He said the fuel was contained and that Conrail would deal with the cleanup after daybreak.
The tracks at the crash scene are near Conrail's Bayview yard, but belong to Amtrak, the national rail passenger corporation.
Amtrak spokesman Bruce Heard said early today that only two trains were scheduled to pass through the area during the night, and with one track line open any delay would be minimal. He expressed hope that a second set of tracks would be cleared by morning, when passenger traffic increases.
"There's no MARC commuter service on weekends," Mr. Heard said. "No time's ever right, but it'll affect fewer people the way it happened."