Propane-filled train cars parked on tracks in Bennington

BENNINGTON, Vt. (NEWS10) – Dozens of tanker cars have been parked on a stretch of tracks in North Bennington.

The train company says it’s to help distribute propane to customers more easily but people living nearby say its dangerous.

People in North Bennington are raising concerns over these train cars which are filled with propane.

Especially people like Dale Kennedy who live just a stone’s throw away.”

Dale Kennedy and his family have lived in their home on Rice Lane for 14 years. He says he knew they were coming.

“They started working on the tracks over the summer and then here they come.”

Now he’s concerned for his safety.

“It doesn’t matter how close you live if something happened and they happened to start blowing up half of North Bennington would be gone.”

Vermont State Senator Brian Campion (D-Bennington), who represents the area, says he’s received calls from several people just like Kennedy.

“You look on the side of it and it says hazardous materials.”

He says if an actual building was constructed to store the propane, there would be zoning issues and input from the community.

“Train tracks are for moving things and that’s one thing. But just leaving something here in harm’s way is in my opinion unacceptable.”

Vermont Rail System controls these cars and Vice President Seldon Houghton says this is something they’ve been doing across the area for about three years to get propane to customers more easily.

It’s the first time the tankers have appeared in the North Bennington area. Houghton says they are following all federal guidelines and have coordinated with local fire departments on safety measures.

He says those living nearby shouldn’t be concerned, but Sen. Campion and Kennedy aren’t convinced.

“It could cause a number of serious injuries and possibly I’d be afraid even death.”

“Not saying the leaks gonna catch the thing on fire but a leak and a spark would.”

Kennedy says there’s not much he can do and just hopes the cars are moved as soon as possible.

“You can’t stop it. It’s just what it is.”

Vermont Rail System says 20 of these cars have already been moved out and the rest of them will be moved systematic all throughout the season.

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