How tragic. Two young girls about to return to college in a few days. Absolutely heart breaking. I'm very familiar with the crash site. Ellicott City, MD is a very old mill town that's now been gentrified with antique shops, restaurants and hip bars. The photo below from the Washington Post shows the overall view. More photos and news reports here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/two ... id=wp_ipad
Decades ago I walked the tracks many times and rode my bicycle along the removed second track. The river is the boundary between Howard and Baltimore counties. The street in front of the multi-story buildings is Main St. It goes under the RR bridge and then across the River to Baltimore County. The building next to the tracks is the old train station and is now a museum. There's easy access to the tracks. From the news reports it's not clear where the girls were. The girls posted photos of Main Street just before they died. The view is from the track looking to the left. They could have been on the rail bridge or on the public sidewalk below the bridge. The loaded coal cars fell to the right. I don't know where they were found, but they could have been on the public sidewalk on the car bridge to the right of the tracks. There are railings and a place to hang out. The coal would have poured down on them from above. The top center shows rail cars to the right of the tracks. There is a parking lot there. That's where the cars were crushed. 22 cars came off the tracks. All fully loaded with bituminous coal. The three story building right next to the track are apartments. There is a traffic light very close to the bridge. So close that when red you will be stopped right under the bridge. Next time I'm that way and I see the train going by, I'll wait until it passes. The silos on the right are part of Wilkins-Rogers a maker of custom flour mixes widely sold to the the baking and restaurant industry.