Garbage-filled trains sit idling in Hamburg

HAMBURG, N.Y. (WIVB) – Neighbors in Hamburg say their backyards smell like rotten garbage and dead animals, thanks to a freight train parked in town.

The problem is very similar to what’s been happening along Walden Avenue in Depew, where residents say CSX trains filled with garbage are parked all night long. After Senator Charles Schumer intervened, CSX promised to move the trains when possible. But now the problem is cropping up in Hamburg.

Gloria Ball grew up with the train tracks in her backyard. More than 30 years ago she and her husband Byron bought a house just doors down from her childhood home on Durham Road. Ball says she’s used to the train noise, but not this recent odor.

“That has never happened before. They park garbage trains in the backyard and they idle traffic trains all evening,” said Gloria.

The smell makes them want to stay inside.

“If you have a picnic table out there, you’d never want to eat out there. It would certainly take care of your appetite,” said Gloria.

Her husband Byron added, “The smell is pretty intense when they’re parked back there. The one train was parked back there for almost a week.”

The Balls say at least one train is parked each day, some days as many as three. They say the trains usually park in the evening and are there all night.

“My biggest concern is if they have the trains parked back there that we could have a rat problem,” said Byron.

Besides the smell, the sitting, idling trains are loud.

“Two weeks ago I think they were sitting here three or four days out front and the trains are just so loud sitting there at a regular idle,” said resident Daryl Brandle.

Senator Charles Schumer contacted CSX’s CEO Michael Ward after the same complaints in Depew. He says Ward made a pledge to try to resolve the problem.

“We’re going to have to monitor this and watch it carefully. I do believe he has the best of intentions but we have to make sure it actually happens because for the people of neighborhoods where the tracks are in Depew and other communities, this is just intolerable,” said Senator Schumer.

Senator Schumer’s office says they’ll be speaking to CSX about the issues in Hamburg and will make sure they are moved as soon as possible.

A CSX spokesperson told News 4, “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.”

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