Press-Republican

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March 31, 2014

CP Railway repairing tracks

MORIAH — Moriah Town Supervisor Thomas Scozzafava says Canadian Pacific is keeping its tracks in good repair, and he lauds them for that.

“They’re doing extensive track replacement,” Scozzafava, a rail buff, said. “They expect to be in this corridor all summer (doing repairs).”

At a rail safety forum sponsored by Canadian Pacific Railway in Elizabethtown recently, Railway Director of Government and Public Affairs Randy Marsh said the railroad operates under a framework of safety regulations.

“We have employees who do visual track inspections. We inspect switches. There are supplemental track patrols depending on conditions, such as high water.”

A Rail Flaw Detector Car is used to detect internal flaws in rails, and a Track Evaluation Car checks structures like joint bars on tracks.

“It (the Rail Flaw Car) will GPS-map that flaw and report it to our engineering department, who will put a new rail in place,” Marsh said.

Trains also receive a full mechanical inspection, he said, in which brakes, wheels, bearings and other equipment is inspected.

Repair crews are out almost every day doing track maintenance, rail officials said.

‘MIGHT NEED HELP’

An Executive Order issued by Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Jan. 29 directed state agencies to do a thorough review of safety procedures and emergency-response preparedness because of the big increase in oil shipments since 2011.

State agencies have until April 30 to summarize their existing capacity to prevent and respond to accidents involving the shipment of crude oil and report whether local governments need state or federal assistance to ensure an effective response if a derailment or spill takes place.

They might need such help, Clinton County Emergency Services Director Eric Day said.

“A fire might be too large for us to deal with. We would have to pool everything to fight the fire.”

He said they’d have to put out a call for materials like foam so the fire could be completely extinguished.

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