Train safety raised as issue in hospital debate

Penney Vanderbilt and KC Jones: All About Railroads

Utica Observer-Dispatch

Trains carry crude oil and toxic chemicals through Utica, a fact that has become part of the debate over the proposed downtown hospital.

The train tracks pass within a half mile of the site proposed by the Mohawk Valley Health System. The group #NoHospitalDowntown has been sounding the alarm over whether it makes sense to build a hospital in an area likely to be evacuated in case of a train wreck that results in a fireball.

Many train safety advocates refer to the area within half a mile of tracks as the red zone.

Brett Truett, a co-founder of the group that opposes the downtown hospital site, warned about the proximity between the site and the tracks in an April 10, 2016, Facebook post.

“It was further explained that in the event of a train derailment, especially one carrying toxic materials, a certain radius around the crash site…

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