Ohio Derailment Prompts Binghamton Railroad Bridge Inspections
The City of Binghamton is preparing to have railroad bridges in the city inspected to put railroads on notice of bad conditions following the disastrous East Palestine, Ohio train derailment.
At a press conference on Monday, City of Binghamton Mayor Jared Kraham announced that the city would conduct inspections of railroad bridges. The city will hire a firm with expertise in railroad engineering to inspect the bridges, which appear to be crumbling to anyone driving underneath one. The city will then send that report to the railroads, federal regulators and federal lawmakers.
Mayor Kraham said "These overpasses are unsightly and crumbling, but because they are owned by private railroads, which are federally regulated, it's been thought for decades that there was little City Hall could do. I'm not going to accept that. We will put railroad companies on notice for the deplorable condition of their infrastructure in Binghamton. I will seek all avenues to make sure fixes are made. These railroad bridges are in embarrassing shape
Mayor Kraham also confirmed that the catastrophic train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio played a role in the decision to push the issue with railroad bridge repairs, especially with the company whose train derailed in East Palestine, Norfolk Southern, operating on tracks running through Binghamton.
"This was something we were talking about prior to that happening. But the fact that that derailment, Norfolk Southern, is a railroad company that has tracks going through Binghamton I think just magnified the focus. And I think as a country, we're taking a look at federal railroad regulation, what is that status of that, and this certainly puts into perspective and puts a magnifying glass on the condition of railroads, specifically railroad bridges, in Binghamton."
Norfolk Southern has 25 carrying tracks in the City of Binghamton out of 28 total. The remaining three are owned by New York Susquehanna & Western.
Mayor Kraham expects that inspections of the railroad bridges could begin in the next few months.