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Montgomery County Train Wreck Impacts Passenger & Freight Rail Service

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(Flickr) Governor Andrew Cuomo
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Two freight trains traveling in opposite directions sideswiped each other around 8 a.m. Thursday in the town of Mohawk, near Fonda.   Governor New York Andrew Cuomo, on his way back to the capital from Utica, stopped by the crash scene and spoke to reporters about the wreck.

"The good news is, despite a tremendous amount of damage with 40 cars derailed, no one had any serious injuries..." Cuomo added there is no way to tell how much of an effect commerce in New York state will be affected by the derailment, which reportedly affected 4 locomotives and about 45 rail  cars along Route 5. The tracks run right through downtown in the small town of Fonda. The derailment happened not far from the  business district.

As for passenger service, Amtrak spokesman Cliff Cole says that except for trains between Albany and Niagara Falls, the rail service is getting people to their destinations. Cole says four trains regularly use the line every day in both directions.

CSX did not respond to a request for comment. Amtrak promises to provide the traveling public with service updates as needed. Governor Cuomo says the state will monitor cleanup operations. 

According to media accounts, Montgomery County Sheriff Michael Amato said a switch on the tracks may be to blame for the derailment. Governor Cuomo says it is best to wait for investigators to file their reports instead of listening to theories. The sheriff's office said neither Amato nor anyone else would be available for additional comment.

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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