Downtown Businesses Impacted by Derailment
Lynchburg, VA - Many businesses along the train tracks are being directly affected by Wednesday's derailment. Both Amazement Square and The Depot Grille are closed until further notice. The Depot Grille has opened itself as a command-post to those working day and night to clean the mess up. Amazement Square is standing by to hear when they can open. Mandy Dix was just finishing up serving the lunch rush at Depot Grill when she heard the loud noise then saw the explosion. "It was about a hundred yards away from our front deck, so you could feel it. You could smell it. You could taste it," Dix said. Thankfully no one was on the deck. Dix says normally they'd have a patio full of customers, but because of the rainy weather, the patio was closed. "We were very thankful that it was a rainy day," Dix said. The restaurant is currently closed to the public, but they've still got plenty of customers serving all the workers on the scene. "[We are] keeping them energized and keeping them going for the rest of the day. From coffee, to we're setting up salad bars and chicken tenders," Dix said. With Amazement Square closed, field trips are cancelled since school buses wouldn't be able to get down there. "We were able to get everyone out safely so that was fine and fortunately there were no damages and we were very happy about that. So it was a shock and a surprise, but at the same time it could've been a lot worse," Amazement Square President and CEO Mort Sajadian said. Around 14 employees work at the museum on a daily basis. They've had to stay home until further notice. Sajadian hopes to be allowed to re-open soon, and feels the railroad is doing a great job with the clean-up. "The railroad has been very good about quickly cleaning up and reaching out to the people so you have to commend them for that actually," Sajadian said. Dix says they won't know until late tonight whether they will open tomorrow. She says it depends on when the workers are finished with what they need to do. Right now the entire area is closed to the public, and their parking lot is filled with the workers vehicles. Amazement Square says they are waiting to hear from police as well as the railroad as to when they can re-open.ABC 13 also spoke with Riverviews Artspace and they say they plan to open for their First-Friday event Friday night, but they will be unable if all the workers vehicles are still in place and the roads are closed.