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Hudson Valley Press

March 8th, 2017

Freight Train Derails Tuesday in City of Newburgh

Water Street in the City of Newburgh was closed after several cars of a 17car freight train derailed around 3:30 p.m. Tuesday afternoon.
NEWBURGH – Several cars of a 17-car freight train derailed around 3:30 p.m. Tuesday on the Newburgh city line adjacent to the Town of New Windsor.

There are hazardous materials being transported by the train, “but no reports of any leaks or spills at this time,” said CSX spokesman Rob Doolittle. The freight includes cardboard, corn oil and glass products as well as sulfuric acid and sodium hydroxide, he said.

The train, with three locomotives and 17 freight cars was traveling from Selkirk, New York to Waycross, Georgia. A total of 38 cars carry freight and 39 are empty.

The lead engine derailed and skidded across Water Street. Electrical wires are down across the railroad tracks.

A number of area fire departments were called in along with a haz-mat team as diesel fuel is leaking from a train engine.

There is one injury initially reported.

The West Shore rail line along the Hudson River has been a concern to authorities in recent years because of the number of tanker cars carrying Bakken crude oil.

“Our office is in close contact with FRA and local officials. Our thoughts are with those who were impacted by this derailment, and with the first responders currently on scene. Senator Schumer will work closely with FRA and other federal safety organizations to quickly get to the bottom of what caused this dangerous accident,” said Jason Kaplan, spokesman for Senator Charles Schumer.

Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney, whose district office is in Newburgh, said while the cause of the accident is unknown at this time, “we do know that outdated train cars barreling down the Hudson River carrying hazardous materials are literally a train wreck waiting to happen. We have to get smarter about how we transport crude oil, and invest in installing positive train control on all our trains – the longer we fail to prioritize investing in rail safety infrastructure and technology, the more innocent lives we put in jeopardy.”

This derailment comes on the same day as Schumer renewed his call for federal funding for safety upgrades at Metro-North crossings in the Hudson Valley.

The senator said $5 million in funding was approved six months ago to be used to upgrade rail crossings, but the money has yet to be released to the state.

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