AFTER DOZENS OF INCIDENTS AND ALMOST A YEAR OF WAITING, SCHUMER DOUBLES DOWN ON CALL FOR CSX TO MAKE CRITICAL IMPROVEMENTS TO TEMPLE HILL RD AND UNION AVE RAIL CROSSINGS; SAYS CSX HAS HAD PLENTY OF TIME TO WORK TOGETHER WITH THE TOWN OF NEW WINDSOR TO ADDRESS DANGEROUS ORANGE COUNTY RAIL CROSSINGS AND DEMANDS IMMEDIATE ACTION
Temple Hill Rd And Union Ave Rail Crossings In Orange County Have Been In A State Of Disrepair For Years – Resulting In Dozens Of Incidents, Thousands Of Dollars In Damages & Causing Significant Safety & Quality Of Life Concerns For Motorists, Business Owners & Emergency Personnel
After Calling On CSX To Work With New Windsor Officials & Develop Long-Term Solution For Hazardous Rail Crossings Last January, Schumer Says Far Too Much Time Has Been Allowed To Pass Without Action & Doubles Down On His Push
Schumer To CSX: With The Safety And Quality Of Life Of Orange County Residents At Risk & The Incident Count Continuing To Rise, It’s Time For CSX To Step Up & Stop Putting Off Critical Repairs To New Windsor Rail Crossings
Standing with local officials in New Windsor, NY, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today doubled down on his nearly yearlong calls for CSX to step-up and work with the Town of New Windsor to implement long-term solutions to critical structural issues for two frequently traveled rail crossings in Orange County -- one at the intersection of Temple Hill Road and Route 300 and the other at Union Avenue and Erie Avenue -- that have experienced rapid and severe wear and tear in recent years. Schumer previously called on CSX to work with the Town of New Windsor to improve this dangerous situation last January, and said that with the safety and well-being of Orange County residents at stake, this problem has been allowed to linger for far too long. Schumer explained that these worn-out and deteriorating rail crossings have caused dozens of incidents during the last 3 years, and that CSX must commit to more permanent, long-term solutions for them at once.
“Last January, after numerous complaints and the incident count continuing to rise, I sounded the alarm on these dangerously run-down New Windsor rail crossings to CSX that present such serious safety and quality-of-life issues to Orange County residents. After waiting almost a year for CSX to get moving and fix them, we’ve still seen absolutely no long-term improvements,” said Senator Schumer. “So today, I’m demanding that CSX stop kicking the can down the road and begin a long-term plan for the rail crossings at once. These deteriorating crossings have caused upwards of two dozen minor accidents over the past three years and must be repaired immediately, before something more severe happens.”
Schumer explained that in 2013, CSX came to New Windsor to make minor repairs to the two rail crossings. One crossing is located at the intersection of Temple Hill Road and Route 300, the second most popular road in the county, and the other is located at Union Avenue and Erie Avenue. Schumer said that CSX’s initial repairs, while appreciated, were a temporary patch and now both of the rail crossings have deteriorated, leading to uneven tracks and potholes. In fact, recent reports from the Town of New Windsor indicate the crossings are causing accidents ranging from popped tires, to severe automobile damage, as well as risks to cyclists crossing the tracks.
Schumer said that as traffic continues to increase on these main roads, it will be critical for CSX to work with the Town of New Windsor to develop a permanent and long-lasting solution for these worn out and dangerous crossings. Last January, Schumer called on CSX to sit down with the Town of New Windsor to develop and implement a long-term plan to fix the run-down rail crossings. According to CSX, the company met with the Town of New Windsor in the last year, and committed to updating the two rail crossings in the spring of 2018. However, as the spring of 2018 has now come and gone without any CSX effort to improve the quality of the Temple Hill Road and Union Ave rail crossings, Schumer is now doubling down on his push. Schumer said that CSX must stop kicking the can down the road and get moving to repair the two rail crossings, to provide Orange County residents and first responders with some deserved peace of mind.
According to the New Windsor Police Department, the two worn-out rail crossings have resulted in 25 total minor accidents over the last three years, including four that occurred after Schumer launched his initial push last January. Schumer said that these numerous incidents prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that CSX needs to implement a permanent solution for the dangerous rail crossings.
Schumer said that while previous efforts by CSX to make temporary repairs to the two rail crossings are appreciated, it is still vital that CSX commit to working with Town of New Windsor officials and engineers to implement a longer-term plan to upgrade these crossings and make them less susceptible to frequent and persistent deterioration.
A copy of Schumer’s initial letter from January 2018 to CSX CEO James M. Foote appears below.
Dear Mr. Foote:
I write to request CSX assistance in developing a long-term solution to structural issues at two frequently used rail-crossings in the Town of New Windsor, New York that frequently fall into a state of disrepair. One crossing is at the intersection of Temple Hill Road and Route 300 and the other is at Union Avenue and Erie Avenue. Both crossings have fallen into major disrepair including many potholes and uneven tracks, making it difficult and dangerous for drivers and emergency vehicles to cross and have impeded emergency response to incidents throughout New Windsor. To ensure a smooth, safe flow of traffic it is critical that CSX work quickly and cooperatively with New Windsor to make upgrades needed to ensure residents and emergency vehicles are safe as they travel through the crossings.
In 2013, CSX came to New Windsor to do some minor repairs to the crossings, and it’s my understanding that in more recent years additional temporary repairs have been made. Although these repairs were greatly appreciated, given that they were temporary in nature they quickly deteriorated. Recent reports from the Town indicate the crossings are causing accidents related to popped tires and severe automobile damage as well as risks to cyclist using the crossing. As traffic continues to increase on these roads, it is important for CSX to meet with New Windsor officials to develop a permanent and long-term solution for these decrepit and dangerous crossings.
While I appreciate previous efforts by CSX to make temporary repairs to crossings in the Town of New Windsor, I’d now ask that you meet with Town officials and engineers to develop a plan to upgrade these grade crossings in a way that is less susceptible to frequent and persistent deterioration. Thank you for your attention to these issues; I believe your attention will make a meaningful improvement in rail grade-crossing safety in Orange County and throughout New York. Should you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact my office.