Wednesday, May 5, 2010

CURES Press Release - For Immediate Release May 5, 2010...

CURES received some good news about emissions & idling reduction action this morning from Raymond Hessinger, (Acting) Director, Freight & Passenger Rail Bureau, NYS Department of Transportation "... I do have some good news to report to you on idling at Fresh Pond. Last week, CSX and Canadian Pacific (CP) announced an agreement ...on joint operations in New York. Once facet of the transaction includes CSX's agreement to carry CP's traffic between Albany and Fresh Pond on their existing trains. By doing so, it will allow CP to discontinue running their own trains to Fresh Pond. While CP only operates 2 round trips per week to Fresh Pond, their locomotives idle for at least 8 hours in Fresh Pond during each trip as their train crews take their federally mandated rest. More information on the broader statewide agreement can be found in their joint filings with the Surface Transportation Board at this link:

One of CURES major requests has been that the railroads reduce idling and emissions. This action is welcome as it takes a step in that direction. This action demonstrates how the railroads and the agencies can get together on issues CURES has been raising. They can change operations in ways that reduce community burdens and current adverse impacts of trains on public health, safety, welfare, and property values. Citizens experience the effects, however we are on the outside looking in. It is the railroads and agencies that know the rules and have the power and discretion to make changes that can reduce community burdens and make "green" freight rail operations and equipment in NYC a reality. CURES wants all levels of government working together with the railroads in NYC to accelerate the pace of change.

Change is needed now because today, for CURES communities, freight rail is not "green." People are suffering from adverse health effects, noxious odors, noise and emissions from vintage 1978 LIRR locomotives at Fresh Pond Terminal, and other impacts from rail at all hours of the day and night. The transport of city garbage by rail has made a historically bad situation exponentially worse, and for many more people. Here is a quote from Mary Parisen about her experiences this week at her house and her sister's house on 69th St., near the intersection with Otto Rd., across the street from Fresh Pond Terminal: "Last night they (the trains in Fresh Pond Terminal) were going from 7-12 pm. I was sitting on my sister's porch with her and my neighbor and at one point I had to cover my mouth because of the diesel fumes. It was horrible."

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Civics United for Railroad Environmental Solutions
69-06 69th St., Glendale, NY 11385 Phone # 347-482-1962