WASHINGTON (AP) – The Washington Nationals canceled batting practice and players were allowed to show up at the ballpark later than usual because a chartered Amtrak train carrying the team home from New York derailed early Tuesday morning.

No one was injured when the train went off-track as it slowed approaching the station at Wilmington, Del.

“Nobody really knew what happened until the conductors told us that if we had been going any faster, the train could have flipped over,” closer Chad Cordero said when he arrived at RFK Stadium for Washington’s game against the Philadelphia Phillies.

“We just knew something happened. We didn’t know what happened,” catcher Brian Schneider said. “It just started to shake a little bit and then the lights went off and it came to a stop quicker than usual.”

The Nationals had to wait to move onto a replacement train, and they didn’t arrive in Washington until about 4:45 a.m.

“It was a very minor derailment,” Amtrak spokeswoman Tracy Connell said. “The rear wheels of the locomotive went off the track.”

The engine and three cars remained upright, and the train slowed to a stop around 1:30 a.m., Connell said. About 50 passengers on board were transferred to another train. It was not clear what caused the derailment, Connell said.

During their two seasons in Washington, the Nationals have taken the train to away games at New York and Philadelphia. This time, the Nationals were traveling back after a four-game series at the Mets that ended Monday night with a 7-3 victory.

“Some were sleeping, some were up, some were listening to music, some were playing cards. I was playing cards. It just made for a longer card game,” Schneider said. “The only inconvenience to us was getting a real, real late night. But no one got hurt or anything like that.”

Said Nationals manager Frank Robinson: “The trip home was just hair-raising.”

AP-ES-09-26-06 2025EDT


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