EAST AURORA, N.Y. (WIVB) – East Aurora police say no one was hurt when a train derailed in the area of Main St. and Riley St. Monday night.
They say they got the call that an engine on the Buffalo and Pittsburgh Railroad went off the track around 10:50 p.m. The train was traveling from Salamanca to Buffalo.
Police Chief Shane Krieger says an engineer and trainee were on board, but neither were hurt.
Crews say 15 cars and three engines came off the tracks, out of the 98 total. The first five cars were empty.
All cars that left the track are intact.
No hazardous material was leaking except for some diesel fuel from the engine. A total of 1,000 gallons leaked out.
Police evacuated people from 41 homes in a four-block span on either side of the railway as a precaution, but they were allowed to return on Tuesday morning.
Early investigation shows trains usually go around 25 miles per hour through residential areas, so speed is not believed to be a factor. Investigators are still looking to see if there was an issue with the track or an old switch in the area that could have caused the incident.
Police say it will likely take two to four days to remove the engine and clean up the scene, but it could be longer based on obstacles. They say to expect road closures including Main St. at Riley St.
On May 21, 2020 the Buffalo and Pittsburgh Railroad, Inc. released a statement. It read, in part:
“…First responders on the scene were provided with a manifest of all commodities on the train, per standard protocol. Also per standard protocols, representatives from the Federal Railroad Administration and N.Y. State Department of Transportation were notified and present at the scene the morning following the derailment. A thorough investigation is underway by the governmental agencies, with the full support of BPRR personnel, to determine the cause of the derailment, including the possibility of vandalism.
Diesel fuel that spilled from the lead locomotive as a result of the derailment is being contained and remediated in conjunction with the Environmental Protection Agency and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and will be completed once heavy equipment has left the site.
One loaded lumber car that was too badly damaged to be removed will be unloaded at the site and scrapped in place along with one empty salt-hopper car. That work is expected to be completed over the next two weeks.
‘We are grateful that there were no injuries and that damage to non-railroad property was limited to a park fence,” said BPRR President Len Wagner. “The people and officials of East Aurora have been wonderful, and we again want to thank the first responders for their immediate and professional efforts and the residents in the vicinity for their understanding and cooperation. The Buffalo & Pittsburgh has an outstanding safety record going back decades, based on the strong shared belief of BPRR employees that all injuries and derailments are preventable. The results of the investigations of this incident will be used to make us even safer going forward.'”