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Pedestrian footbridge damaged by derailment reopens in WVa

HARPERS FERRY, W.Va. (AP) — A popular pedestrian footbridge in West Virginia is repaired and back open following a train derailment.

The footbridge crosses the Potomac River from Harpers Ferry into Maryland and draws tourists, bicyclists and hikers along the Appalachian Trail.

“Hallelujah. That’s all I can say,” Joyce McRae of Williamsport, Pennsylvania, said Monday as she crossed the footbridge on her bicycle with her husband, The Herald-Mail reported.

The footbridge is connected to a CSX span crossing the river. A CSX freight train derailed in December as it crossed the river, damaging the footbridge. A report from the Federal Railroad Administration said a train engineer used excessive force to make a movement with the brakes still applied.

The derailment closed access to some parts of Harpers Ferry National Historic Park and the Chesapeake & Ohio National Historic Park.