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Hochul announces resumption of passenger rail service west of Albany following Friday's CSX derailment


Tue, Aug 8th 2023 09:00 am

Amtrak’s Maple Leaf service now operating between Albany and Toronto

Gov. Kathy Hochul on Monday announced that passenger rail service to and from destinations west of the City of Albany has resumed following Friday’s derailment of a CSX freight train in Montgomery County. Following around-the-clock clean up and repair efforts on the impacted track and roads by CSX, the New York State Department of Transportation, the New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control, and local emergency services, Amtrak’s Maple Leaf service between Albany and Toronto is now operating.

“Passenger rail service is a vital link that ties our upstate communities together and sustains their economies,” Hochul said. “Any disruption in service can cause major hardships for locals and visitors alike, so I applaud all of the emergency service personnel and repair crews that worked hard to get New Yorkers moving again.”

Hochul’s team said, “Passenger service west of Albany was halted Friday afternoon after a CSX freight train derailed in Montgomery County. Although several tanker cars came off the tracks, there was no spill of hazardous materials and no injuries. The New York State Police, Office of Fire Prevention and Control and Department of Transportation officials – including DOT’s rail inspectors – were immediately dispatched to the site to monitor the situation, assist with the response and manage traffic.

“State Route 5 continues to have one eastbound lane closed between Avery Road in the Town of Amsterdam and the Schenectady County line. Because of ongoing work at the site, trains are limited to 25 mph while passing through the area.”

Amtrak’s Empire Service will return to normal service Tuesday morning.

NYS DOT Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez said, “The safety and convenience of the traveling public are always top priorities for the New York State Department of Transportation, and we have been working with our partners in government and with CSX and Amtrak to get this vital rail service restored as quickly and as safely as possible. We understand the importance of passenger rail service to upstate New York and we will not stop until service is fully restored and safe for operation.”

New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Jackie Bray said, “Keeping the public safe is our No. 1 priority. Our State Fire and Emergency Management teams were on site shortly after the derailment to ensure a coordinated response. We thank our partners in government and the private sector who worked quickly to clean up and repair the derailment site.”

Hochul’s team said, “New York state remains a leader in freight rail hazard preparedness and response. In the aftermath of the Lac-Megantic crash in 2013, New York state initiated a comprehensive response planning and prepositioned response assets to prepare for a freight rail hazmat disaster, focusing specifically on crude oil. Through a multiagency effort, with the Department of Environmental Conservation in the lead, New York state created geographic response plans (GRPs) that guide local, county, state, federal and industry response operations in the event of an emergency – serving as a model for the rest of the nation.

“While New York continues to lead the nation in freight rail hazard preparedness, these additional measures the federal government and the rail industry can take to prevent disasters like the one in Ohio and ensure our response capabilities are sound.”

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