Months after derailment, road repairs complete

MOHAWK- Repairs to Route 5 are complete, five months after a train derailment and a recovery operation that damaged the road.

State Department of Transportation Public Information Officer Jim Piccola said crews finished repairing the road before Thanksgiving. The road was inspected Nov. 25.

According to Piccola, the repairs had no complications.

“They did a nice job. We are happy with it,” Piccola said.

Piccola said there were no traffic concerns on Route 5 since reconstruction began.

The road was reopened in September after nearly three months of cleanup and temporary road repairs from the June 27 derailment, in which two CSX freight trains sideswiped each other just west of Fonda.

The train tracks run parallel to Route 5. Some of the train cars landed on the road in the derailment. Some parts of the road were damaged during the cleanup.

An engineer and a conductor on one of the trains suffered minor injuries in the derailment, authorities said.

In June, CSX spokesman Robert 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.

Operator error caused the derailment, CSX said in a report submitted to the Federal Railroad Administration. The report says the accident occurred when the eastbound train went through a track-side red light as the westbound train was crossing from one track to another. The trains struck one another, throwing dozens of cars off the tracks.

According to Piccola, much of the damage to the road occurred during the cleanup. Portions of the road were torn up from machinery. He said the repair cost is $1.1 million. CSX will contribute to the cost of the repairs.