ALBANY, N.Y.—The CSX safety train rolled in to prepare crews for emergencies Thursday, providing hands on training to first responders in the event of a spill at the port.
The CSX Safety Train is comprised of a locomotive, four tank cars, one flat car equipped with a variety of tank car valves and fittings, two classroom cars and a caboose.
“We absolutely understand that one accident is one too many. So we have the responsibility to make sure that each and every time we move a customer’s product, whether it’s hazardous or not, that we do it as safely as possible. Accidents do happen and that’s why we are out training emergency responders on this safety train trip,” said Skip Elliot, CSX VP of Public Safety Health and Environment.
Neighbors have been concerned about what would happen if there was an accident with tankers bringing in crude oil. Firefighters, Police, and EMT’s are all part of the training to know exactly how to handle such a situation.
Transporting crude oil has been a hot button topic with recent explosions and derailments in North America. And CSX, who distributes the ignitable liquid, says it realizes it needs to do its part in moving the product safer.
“We have the responsibility to make sure that each and every time we move a customer’s product, whether it’s hazardous or not, that we do it as safely as possible. Accidents do happen and that’s why we are out training emergency responders on this safety train trip,” said Elliott.
The safety train, which is traveling across the 23 states the company operates in, is designed to teach emergency personnel how rail cars work and how to deal with rail incidents. Albany Common Council President Carolyn Mclaughlin says she understands the Capital Region’s concerns with crude oil transportation, but insists the training will make a lasting impact.
“Just what I’ve heard in the last few minutes has given me greater assurance that measures are in place to ensure that individual’s lives are being protected,” she said.
CSX has been conducting the program for the last fifteen years, however, this is the first time the training has included ignitable liquid disaster instruction. Congressman Paul Tonko, who also observed Thursday’s session, says while CSX is taking these precautionary measures, the topic of transporting crude oil is still a major concern.
“We need, in a broader picture, to talk about our overall energy policy and the continued reliance on fossil-based fuels. So it’s within our means to be able to develop alternative energy technologies and renewables,” he said.