News & Reviews News Wire Broken rail caused Berkshire & Eastern derailment

Broken rail caused Berkshire & Eastern derailment

By Trains Staff | February 23, 2024

Cleanup continues for plastic pellets spilled into river

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A broken rail caused this Feb. 7 derailment on the Berkshire & Eastern near Valley Falls, N.Y., according to Genesee & Wyoming. Sidewinder Photography via Rensselaer County Executive

VALLEY FALLS, N.Y. — A broken rail was responsible for a derailment earlier this month that sent two cars of a train on the Berkshire & Eastern Railroad into the Hoosic River, a Genesee & Wyoming representative told WRGB-TV.

The Feb. 7 derailment involved 10 cars of a 94-car train on the Pan Am Southern, the joined CSX-Norfolk Southern venture operated by the G&W affiliate as a condition of CSX’s purchase of Pan Am Railways [see “Train derails on Berkshire & Eastern …,” Trains News Wire, Feb. 8, 2024].

One of the two cars that entered the river was carrying plastic pellets; cleanup of those is ongoing. WNYT-TV reports viewers had sent photographs of the pellets spotted as far as 15 miles downriver from the derailment site.

“We don’t really want to speculate on the total amount of pellets lost until recovery is complete,” the G&W representative told WRGB. “Cleanup is expected to go through next week, but Berkshire & Eastern is committed to these efforts for as long as it takes.” Initial cleanup involved vacuuming the pellets out of the car and from the immediate area; floating booms have been deployed at various points along the river to recover more.

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