Days after a MARTA train derailed near Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, rail service has not returned to normal.
While the disabled cars are gone, MARTA repair crews are still fixing the rail line leading to the airport.
Customers Friday afternoon are utilizing modified services, with buses and trains ferrying them between the College Park and Airport stations.
The “hope is to have the track repairs done by Friday night so full rail service to the airport can resume,” MARTA spokeswoman Stephany Fisher said.
The disruption to regular service started about 9 p.m. Tuesday when an out-of-service train derailed just north of the Airport station on a raised platform. The conductor was the only person on board and was not injured.
“This is an unusual occurrence for MARTA and there is no clear indication yet of what caused this to happen,” Fisher said.
Preliminary findings suggest the train, which consists of six cars, was heading in the right direction with four cars crossing the interlocking without incident.
It appears the sixth rail car failed to follow the proper route, which resulted in the derailment of that car and the partial derailment of the fifth rail car, according to MARTA.
“Several other trains had crossed the interlocking earlier in the day without issue,” Fisher said.
Crews were able to separate four rail cars from the two derailed cars Wednesday night, Fisher said. They brought in a crane Thursday night to remove the two disabled cars from the track. The cars were taken to a maintenance facility, MARTA spokesman Lyle Harris said.
That gave crews the ability to begin repairs to the track. Direct rail service will be restored once those repairs are completed.
In the meantime, MARTA is urging customers to “please allow 30 additional minutes of travel time.”