RENSSELAER COUNTY, N.Y. (NEWS10) -24 hours have passed since cars from a Berkshire & Eastern train derailed in the Johnsonville area of Pittstown. The railroad company says they are conducting a thorough investigation as they work to fix the line and area around the derailment.
Tom Ciuba, a spokesperson for the rail, said, "...around 10:15 last evening, a Berkshire & Eastern Railroad train carrying mixed freight derailed 10 cars in Valley Falls. There were no injuries, and no hazardous material was involved. Two of the railcars fell into the Hoosic River. One began leaking a small amount of vegetable oil and the other a small amount of plastic resin."
The cause of the derailment is under investigation. One train safety expert with eleven years of experience says there are many possibilities as to why the incident occurred.
"Wintertime is not really a huge contributing factor unless they're switching from one track to another. I'm sure they do maintain the tracks but there's just areas where they have to go really slow," stated Mike Callanan.
Callanan explained the track was known as the Boston and Maine back in the 1900's and has since changed hands multiple times.
"Contractors have been on site with us fully responding to the incident all day and will continue as long as needed. The leak of oil was plugged early this afternoon. Responders are still suctioning resin from the river," described Ciuba.
The whole process could take days and affect train traffic. "It could very well delay Canada Pacific. They interchange with them, as well as their operation. They want to open that rail as quickly as possible," added Callanan.
In 2023, a CSX train derailment in Amsterdam closed that line for almost a week. The Federal Railroad Association said back in August that accident investigations vary, but look to be completed in six months.
"What they'll look at is the track, the wooden cross ties. They'll look at the wheels on the car that derailed and they'll look at whether human factor played a cause. They will go from there and try to determine what caused it," explained Callanan.