DEPEW, N.Y. (WIVB) – New York’s senior senator is urging CSX to eliminate a stinky problem in Depew.
Senator Charles Schumer says at night, CSX rail cars filled with garbage sit idling on rail lines along Walden Avenue, a heavily populated area in the village.
Residents say the trains idle all night, emitting fumes and constant engine noise. Plus many of the trains are uncovered, allowing the scent of garbage to spread throughout the neighborhood.
Schumer says the odor prevents residents from going outside or opening their windows. He is calling on CSX to find an alternate, non-residential area if it’s going to leave the trains idling.
In a statement, he said, “The bottom line is that a quiet, residential neighborhood like Depew is no place to park smelly and noisy garbage trains. These trains are having a negative impact on the health and quality of life of Depew residents and something must be done. These trains keep residents awake all through the night and send a horrible stench into their homes. And the situation is only made worse by the humidity of summer. Depew residents have had to put up with idling and uncovered garbage-filled CSX trains in their back yards for far too long, and I am urging CSX to find an alternate, non-residential location for these trains so our residents’ health and quality of life will no longer be affected.”
Residents had apparently been assured before Independence Day that the trains would be moved, but CSX has not kept its promise to residents.
Schumer says many residents, as well as the mayor in Depew, have contacted his office looking for help solving this problem after receiving no response from CSX.
He has written a letter to the president and CEO of CSX, in the hopes of eliminating this ongoing issue in Depew.
On Friday, a CSX spokesman responded to concerns from Schumer and residents, writing:
“First, we appreciate that there are times when railroad operations impact neighbors who live near our tracks and facilities, and we do our best to minimize those effects.
“Currently, due to substantial growth in demand for freight-rail services, we are experiencing unusually heavy congestion on our network that requires us to stage trains on sidings in areas where we may not have done so in the past, or for longer than we might have done so. We are committed to moving all freight on our system as quickly and efficiently as we can, and we are devoting significant time and resources to resolving these issues.
“As much as possible, we try to avoid holding trains carrying solid waste. Unfortunately, given the current level of congestion, we are not always able to avoid holding those trains at certain times.
“We have communicated with local and state government representatives and Sen. Schumer’s office on these issues, and will continue to keep them apprised of changes to this situation.”