Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi said the public is increasingly concerned about rail safety with news that three train cars carrying non-hazardous cargo derailed in Englewood today. The tracks where the derailment occurred are part of the Northern Branch Corridor, and there have been plans to use the tracks to extend the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail, a passenger train.

“While we are thankful the spillage was nonhazardous and no one was hurt, this is one more example of the need to examine rail safety when cargo is transported,” said Schepisi, R-Bergen and Passaic. “Any derailment is a concern, especially when commuters or materials are being moved. This is another wake-up call to the National Transportation Safety Board to exercise extreme diligence in examining existing transport standards and implementing necessary improvements to protect the public and property. The public is at risk when a derailment occurs, regardless of whether the materials are hazardous or not.”

In March, Schepisi expressed her concern when the third crude oil derailment occurred in less than a month. Schepisi restated her support of the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) call for rail companies to limit carrying flammable material on rails by selecting routes that reduce the amount of such materials traveling through populated areas. One of the NTSB’s proposals is a call to select safer transportation routes through less populated areas.

“Fortunately, no injuries or spillage resulted with this incident, but it should sound another wakeup call to the rail industry,” concluded Schepisi.