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Rail News: Short Lines & Regionals

Union Tank Car to end rail-car storage in New York's Adirondack Park


After New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo complained about rail cars being stored on track in the state's Adirondack Forest, Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary Union Tank Car Co. announced this week that it would remove the 65 cars it has stored there.

Last week, Cuomo announced that the state would pursue legal action to try to stop Iowa Pacific Holdings from storing thousands of tank cars in Adirondack Park.
Iowa Pacific owns the Saratoga & North Creek Railway that operates the rail line that runs through the park, where tank cars that carry crude oil are being stored.

In an effort to get the cars removed from the park, the state's Department of Environmental Conservation filed a petition with the Surface Transportation Board and sent a "cease and desist" letter to Iowa Pacific demanding that the short line stop receiving and storing cars on the line that runs through the park from North Creek in Warren County to the Tahawus Mine. The letter also appealed to Union Tank Car, which owns the cars.

On Tuesday, Cuomo issued a statement praising the rail-car company and its parent for agreeing to have the cars removed.

"The Adirondack Park is one of New York's great natural jewels and a driver of the North Country's economy, and never should have been used as a glorified junk yard. The Berkshire Hathaway's Union Tank Car Company ultimately did the right thing by heeding our call to remove these eyesores from the Adirondack Park," Cuomo said.

He also reiterated his demand that Iowa Pacific halt its plan to store thousands of cars on the Tahawus Branch.

"I have made it very clear that we will not stand by and allow it to be used as a dumping ground, and we are prepared to exhaust all legal options to end this practice and keep the constitutionally protected Adirondacks forever wild," said Cuomo.

Although Union Tank Car indicated it would remove its cars, a New York newspaper reported yesterday that Iowa Pacific has informed state officials that it plans to continue to store rail cars on the line.

In a letter to the Department of Environmental Conservation, Iowa Pacific's attorney wrote that the company will stop storing cars on the line only if the state buys the company's freight easement on the line, the Post Star reported.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 12/28/2017