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Freight Train Derails in Carteret, Closes Turnpike Outer Lanes

As crews work to upright a car on a detailed freight train carrying flammable material in Carteret that also closed the adjacent New Jersey Turnpike lanes as a precaution, Mayor Daniel J. Reiman calls it an example of Conrail’s “irresponsible conduct” towards his town.

Firefighters on scene of a detailed freight train in Carteret
Firefighters on scene of a detailed freight train in Carteret (FiOS 1 New Jersey via Twitter)

The northbound outer lanes of the Turnpike are closed as are the ramps at exit #12 (Carteret) as a precaution for the procedure which could take several hours to complete.

Chief Mark Hruska of the Carteret Fire Department tells 7 ABC there is no threat to the public and no evacuations have been made. He says the train is “constantly” being monitored for leaks.

Reiman’s office says Kevin W. Ahearn, Carteret’s Superintendent of Schools made the decision to relocate students at the Minue School to the high school as a precaution.

One car on the train flipped and another is on its side as it backed into a facility and hit an abutment near exit 12 of the New Jersey Turnpike around 1 a.m. Thursday morning.

Conrail spokesman John Enright says one car is leaning and the other overturned. Another train uable to pass through is being held up as crews work to upright the cars which could takes several hours.

There is also no effect on NJ Transit commuter trains.

“Pattern of irresponsible conduct”

 

Salvation Army feeds emergency responders in Carteret
Salvation Army feeds emergency responders in Carteret (FiOS1 New Jersey via Twitter)

Reiman calls the derailment “another instance in an ongoing pattern of irresponsible conduct by Conrail that negatively impacts the residents of Carteret and central New Jersey by disregarding safety concerns and operating in a way that substantially detracts from the quality of life of surrounding residential property owners.”

He says Conrail has been storing trains carrying hazardous chemicals on tracks near residential neighborhoods. “Essentially, CONRAIL has taken tracks that were intended for the continuous passage  of trains and turned it into a de facto rail yard,” said Reiman. He has written letters to the New Jersey Department of Envioirnmental Protection opposing Conrail’s application to extend the tracks running behind residential homes in Carteret and in the Port Reading section of Woodbridge.

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