Cleanup of collision continues to open section of Route 5

FONDA-Crews continue to work to clean up the remains of a train collision in June, with locomotives cleared from the scene and part of Route 5 clear, but still closed

“Now the crews are working to empty the remaining rail cars that derailed so they can be removed from the scene,” CSX Spokesman Robert Sullivan said.

Sullivan said the work to clear the rest of the rail cars from the area could continue into the weeks ahead.

Authorities closed a 12-mile stretch of Route 5 after the June 27 derailment from Fonda to Palatine. Officials say two CSX freight trains hit each other just west of Fonda around 8 a.m. An engineer and a conductor on one of the trains received minor injuries, authorities said.

In June, Sullivan said one of the trains was traveling from Avon, Ind., to Selkirk with four locomotives and 126 freight cars. The other train was going from Selkirk to New Castle, Pa., with two locomotives and 83 freight cars.

Sullivan said four locomotives and 45 freight cars were derailed.

Sullivan said that the exact cause of the crash was still under investigation. At the time of the incident, authorities said the two trains brushed against each other while they were passing each other in opposite directions on parallel tracks, resulting in the derailment.

Sullivan said CSX is working with the New York State Department of Transportation to help get Route 5 open as quickly as possible.

Montgomery County Emergency Management Coordinator Adam Schwabrow said Tuesday he was told the road could be open in a week.

“I don’t expect to hear from [CSX] again until they open the road,” Schwabrow said.

Schwabrow said emergency vehicles are allowed on Route 5 if needed.

Currently, traffic is being diverted through Fultonville, down Route 5S. From Route 5S, several train cars can be seen derailed, with crews working at the site.

Schwabrow said with the fields surrounding the train tracks inundated with water, crews have to set their equipment on the road, blocking traffic.

NYSDOT District 1 Spokesman Jim Piccola said DOT and CSX met Monday to discuss the status of the cleanup and when the road could be inspected. Piccola said he is currently waiting on the results of the meeting.

“They still have a lot of stuff out there that needs to be cleaned up. It’s a tedious operation,” Piccola said.