Washington, DC— Today, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) released the results of a study it conducted of CSX properties in the 23 states where the railroad operates. The study faulted CSX for 199 serious violations of federal safety regulations.
“The FRA investigation shows that CSX must commit more resources to ensuring its rails do not pose a threat to the public,” said Higgins. “CSX must invest in making sure the public is not at risk from the derailment of hazardous or explosive materials, as happened in Oneida, or from train cars falling from overpasses onto public roads below, as happened in Cheektowaga in December. A separate FRA investigation that I requested which was released yesterday found that the condition of the rail overpasses were not responsible for the derailments in Cheektowaga and Buffalo last December. I remain skeptical, especially in light of today’s report, and am calling on CSX to certify that the overpasses are in top condition, and pose no further threat to Western New Yorkers.”
FRA conducted the study in January 2007, in the wake of several high profile derailments, including the December 10, 2006 CSX train derailment from an overpass in Cheektowaga and other derailments in East Rochester, Selkirk, and Syracuse, NY. FRA found 3,518 defects of CSX nationwide, which is clear evidence of CSX violating federal rail safety regulation. FRA inspectors have recommended fines be levied against CSX for 199 serious violations of federal safety regulations. The study today was released a day after the FRA wrote to Higgins to inform him of the results of their investigation in Western New York, which does not fault the condition of the rail overpasses for the derailments. Higgins remains skeptical of the results of FRA’s investigation in Erie and Chautauqua counties.