BINGHAMTON, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – Congressman Marc Molinaro is looking at ways to make rail lines that run through his district safer, and to equip first responders with the tools and information they need to deal with rail emergencies.

The freshman Republican held an Emergency Management Roundtable yesterday at the new Binghamton Fire Department Central Station.

It included members of local fire and ambulance services along with local elected leaders.

Molinaro says the train derailment involving toxic chemicals that occurred in East Palestine, Ohio prompted him to assess the safety of rail lines in our area.

“I wouldn’t frighten people but it’s a challenge to be sure that the infrastructure itself is safe and adequate, that there’s quality communication between the rail companies and emergency responders, that there’s transparency necessary to ensure that we know what we’re responding to and that local responders have the training and the mapping necessary to be effective, in both preventing and intervening should there be an incident.”

Molinaro says Binghamton is a major hub for rail traffic, with both Norfolk Southern and New York, Susquehanna and Western Railway operating.

The Congressman says he’s advocating for federal funds to improve rail safety technology, but also pushing the rail companies themselves to be more accountable.