Schumer Calls on Federal Railroad Administration to Investigate CSK Train Derailment in Buffalo's Old First Ward

March 7, 2012 Updated Mar 7, 2012 at 2:22 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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Schumer Calls on Federal Railroad Administration to Investigate CSK Train Derailment in Buffalo's Old First Ward

March 7, 2012 Updated Mar 7, 2012 at 2:22 PM EDT

(WKBW release) Wednesday, in the wake of a CSX train derailment in the City of Buffalo’s Old First Ward, New York Senator Charles E. Schumer called on the Federal Railroad Administration to initiate a thorough investigation into the accident and provide answers to local officials, first responders and residents.

According to a news release from Schumer's office:

On Tuesday morning, several cars from a CSX train derailed in an industrial area near several Western New York homes. Later that afternoon, 14 more railroad cars came dangerously close to falling off the tracks. Schumer noted that this combination of accidents and near accidents in one day on this portion of CSX track is of serious and immediate concern, and must be investigated promptly, before more serious crashes occur.  

“While this week’s train car derailment in Buffalo’s Old First Ward left no employees or local residents injured, the next time that a train jumps the tracks, we might not be as lucky,” said Schumer. “The recent fatal train accident in Canada demonstrates this unfortunate truth, and shows that each and every train incident must be taken very seriously. That is why I’m urging the Federal Railroad Administration to promptly investigate what caused numerous rail cars to come off the track, and dozen others to tip dangerously close on this portion of CSX track. Nothing is more important than accountability of rail companies and the safety of Western New Yorkers, and this investigation needs to happen quickly so that preventative measures can be taken before a more serious crash occurs.”

On Tuesday, March 6th, several CSX train cars derailed in the early morning in Buffalo's Old First Ward. According to reports, a portion of the train came off the tracks in a largely industrial area, near South Park Avenue and Lee Street. Later in the day, 10 more railroad cars came very close to falling off of the track, while four other cars tipped more severely. Railroad workers were able to push those cars upright, and thus far the contents of those cars has not been determined to be hazardous.

While this week’s incident did not develop into a major disaster, Schumer noted that had the trains been carrying flammable chemicals or other dangerous cargo, there could have been a major catastrophe. In a personal letter to the FRA Administrator Joseph Szabo, Schumer also pointed to last week’s Canadian derailment that killed 3 railroad employees and injured 45 passengers, to highlight the need for all train derailments to be taken seriously and granted the utmost attention.