Officials: Train cars gotta go

OBSERVER Photos by Nicole Gugino Roughly 50 CSX coal carriers have not moved from the tracks in the city of Dunkirk for nearly eight months. The carriers are visible from Central Avenue.

For around eight months, the city of Dunkirk has been spinning its wheels when it comes to an unsightly issue on the CSX railroad tracks downtown. Ironically, the issue is the wheels on around 50 carriers have not moved during that time.

The rusty rail cars emblazoned with the CSX lettering can be clearly seen on the raised track from many locations the city is attempting to advertise for economic development and tourist attractions like the waterfront.

It was noted in mid-July that the cars had been sitting for two weeks already and that it was unusual for the cars to be stored on the unneeded third track to the NRG plant for that long. Attempts to have the cars moved were made then, but still nothing has been done.

“This came up last year, we discussed it at one of our council meetings and we contacted members of our federal delegation to advise them this was going on. They were going to reach out to CSX, but we haven’t gotten any word back when they are going to move the coal carriers,” Dunkirk Mayor Willie Rosas said.

“It’s an eyesore for us there right now,” Rosas continued. “We’ve received complaints from local residents and even visitors. We’ve been asking for the coal carriers to be moved and there’s got to be a better place to store those. We’ve waited long enough.”

OBSERVER Photos by Nicole Gugino Roughly 50 CSX coal carriers have not moved from the tracks in the city of Dunkirk for nearly eight months. The carriers are visible from Central Avenue.

Recently, Rosas discussed the issue with County Executive George Borrello, who sent an email to Congressman Tom Reed’s office seeking him to use his contacts with CSX to help the city.

“Having these rusty eyesores in the middle of downtown is inappropriate and detrimental,” he said in the email.

Rosas said even after meeting CSX officials in person it has been difficult to get action on this and other issues like the appearance of the overpasses.

“I’ve met with CSX officials since I’ve been in office and I was trying to get them to grant us permission to do some painting on those tracks there. We’re still waiting to hear on that, too. It’s been hard to work with them. I think we’ve waited long enough, we’ve been patient and I think it’s time for some action,” Rosas said.

Reed’s office responded to an inquiry by the OBSERVER.

“Our office has recently been in contact with CSX. We have encouraged them to move the rail cars to a yard rather than leaving them in downtown Dunkirk,” Reed’s Communications Director Samantha Cotten said.

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