October 17, 2013

Man hit, killed by freight train in Portland

Police say the victim, who was in his 60s, was walking along the tracks near Forest Avenue.

By Tom Bell tbell@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

A man who was walking along railroad tracks in Portland was struck and killed by a freight train Wednesday night, police said.

click image to enlarge

Investigators survey the scene of a fatal accident along the stretch of train tracks between Forest Avenue and Irving Street in Portland on Wednesday. A man who was walking along railroad tracks was struck and killed by a freight train Wednesday night, police said.

Nicholas Gervin photo

click image to enlarge

A parked freight train blocks a passing pedestrian following a fata accident along the stretch of train tracks between Forest Avenue and Irving Street in Portland on Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2013. A man who was walking along the tracks was struck and killed by a freight train Wednesday night, police said. When the freight train stopped, it blocked Forest Avenue from 7:15 to about 10 p.m.

Nicholas Gervin photo

Police did not release the identity of the man, who was in his 60s.

Portland police Lt. Bob Ridge said the man was hit by a northbound train around 7:15 p.m. He was walking south on the tracks and saw the train approach, Ridge said.

“This guy stepped off to the side but not quite enough,” Ridge said. “Something off the side of the train hit him.”

The man was declared dead at the scene. Ridge said his death was not a suicide.

The accident occurred on the stretch of tracks between Forest Avenue and Irving Street.

When the freight train stopped, it blocked Forest Avenue, from 7:15 to about 10 p.m.

The train moved only after police from Pan Am Railways, which owns the tracks, arrived and cleared the scene.

Amtrak’s Downeaster passenger service also uses the line.

The northbound train that was scheduled to leave Portland at 8:10 p.m. for Brunswick was stopped around the time of its departure because the tracks were blocked by the accident.

Passengers heading to Brunswick were put on a Concord Trailways bus. Those going to Freeport were taken there by taxi, and Amtrak covered the fares.

“We were able to get the passengers home and stay out of the way (of police) so they could finish what they were doing,” said Patrica Quinn, executive director of the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority, which operates the Downeaster service.

Tom Bell can be contacted at 791-6369 or at:tbell@pressherald.com
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