A contractor for Norfolk Southern hopes to restart efforts next week to remove several rail cars remaining on the ground in Cramerton after a derailment in early August.
The contractor, Progress Rail, arrived on the scene to begin the cleanup earlier this week.
Crews had hoped to start cutting up the cars on Thursday, but the work has been delayed for a few days because of concerns about rubber lining in the tank cars, said Robin Chapman, spokesman for Norfolk Southern.
Chapman said the train cars have been cleaned and currently pose no danger to people nearby. But the contractor wants to find out whether a torch used to cut up the trains could cause fumes from the rubber lining to drift to nearby areas.
They need to resolve that question before they can cut them up, Chapman said.
The contractor now hopes to begin work next week. The cleanup could take several days.
A Norfolk Southern freight train carrying chemicals derailed Aug. 6 in the eastern Gaston County town. No injuries were reported, but the derailment temporarily forced the evacuation of about 40 homes.
Some residents have voiced concern about the trains remaining on the ground several weeks after the incident.
Asked about the delay in removing the train cars, Chapman said the company had to work around the schedule of its contractor and the availability of equipment needed for the cleanup.
They are an eyesore; we recognize that, Chapman said. And we want to remove them.
Cramerton Mayor Ronnie Worley said the town sent Norfolk Southern a bill of $8,000 to pay for the police and firefighters to respond to the derailment, according to WCNC-TV, the Observers news partner.
Worley said he hopes it wont take the company as long to reimburse the town as it has to remove the cars.