Schumer says train derailment 'could have been much worse'

May 20, 2020

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer is calling on the Federal Railroad Administration to conduct an investigation into Monday night's train derailment in East Aurora.

Fifteen cars and three engines of a 98-car Buffalo and Pittsburgh train went off the tracks at around 11 p.m. in the village. Diesel fuel spilled from one of the locomotives, forced the overnight evacuation of nearby residents.

Schumer said the situation could have been much worse, given the train was transporting "highly flammable petrochemicals."

“This isn’t the first time a terrifying train derailment has happened in New York, and we need a full-scale investigation ASAP to sort out what happened and what actions should be implemented to prevent it from happening again,” he said.

The Senate Minority Leader noted the need for better safety measures, although the petro tank cars did not derail and there were no injuries reported.

"In 2017, a CSX freight train derailed at the railroad crossing at Donahue Road in the town of Batavia, with one of the overturned cars carrying flammable gunpowder," Schumer wrote in his letter. "Freight trains carrying flammable Bakken shale products routinely make shipments through New York and more must be done to ensure that cargo is carried safely."