Norfolk Southern sues Pittsburgh over landslides

Written by Staff and newswire report
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Stephen C. Host

Norfolk Southern has filed a lawsuit seeking $1.1 million from the city of Pittsburgh to cover damages and repairs from two landslides in 2016.

The Class 1 contends the city failed to properly maintain the hillside above the tracks along West Carson Street, thereby causing the incidents. The railroad also claims Pittsburgh ignored a request for hillside maintenance after the first, smaller landslide in May of 2016.

In the lawsuit, filed Dec. 10 in Allegheny County Court, the railroad says that the city owns property on Mt. Washington that slid onto its Mon Line tracks in both incidents. The second landslide forced Norfolk Southern to close the tracks for 10 days. Those tracks are of particular importance to Norfolk Southern, providing the only route through the city for double-stack traffic.

Norfolk Southern also asked for a court injunction forcing the city to regularly maintain its property on Mt. Washington, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Neither the mayor’s office nor attorneys for Norfolk Southern could be reached for comment.

News of the lawsuit against Pittsburgh comes at the same time the Norfolk Southern agreed to pay millions to the city of Norfolk, Va. That payment is related to the Class 1’s decision to relocate its corporate headquarters to Atlanta.