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Rockland CSX Rail Tracks Are Deemed Safe

The Federal Railroad Administration inspectors looked at approximately 50 miles of track and five switches along the River Line between Orangeburg and Milton in Ulster County.
The Federal Railroad Administration inspectors looked at approximately 50 miles of track and five switches along the River Line between Orangeburg and Milton in Ulster County. Photo Credit: Courtesy: CSX

ORANGETOWN, N.Y. — Federal track inspectors found no major defects on the CSX rail line used by oil trains through Rockland County.

The Federal Railroad Administration inspectors last week looked at approximately 50 miles of track and five switches along the River Line between Orangeburg and Milton in Ulster County and found two non-critical defects, Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office said on Tuesday.

Up to 30 trains, each a mile long, haul explosive crude oil travel through Rockland each week on their way to refineries to the south. There are concerns about the safety of the tank cars in case of a derailment and the devastating effect an accident could have on nearby communities. State and federal inspectors have been examining tracks and crude oil tank cars statewide on a regular basis since 2014.

Last week, teams examined 235 crude oil tank cars, 195 miles of track and 72 switches and found six critical defects and 80 non-critical defects. The most serious were discovered on a 60-mile stretch of CSX track from Macedon in Wayne County to Memphis in Onondaga County. State Department of Transportation track inspectors found six critical defects, including a cracked or broken joint bar and missing bolts, all of which were repaired immediately. They also found 15 non-critical defects, including loose bolts, which must be repaired within 30 days.

The state earlier this month announced it was deploying trailers equipped with a firefighting foam to 19 fire departments and county departments for crude oil emergencies. Rockland County is expected to receive the equipment early next year.

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