ALBANY, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – The New York State Senate recently passed a package of train safety legislation.

NewsChannel 34’s Jamie DeLine spoke to the senate’s transportation chair to find out what it entails.

{{Senator Tim Kennedy, (D) Buffalo}} “There was over 1100 different train derailments last year.
That averages 3 per day in this nation. Far too many. And there is the potential for catastrophe in any of our communities.”

Back in February, a train carrying hazardous material derailed in East Palestine, Ohio sparking health and environmental concerns even forcing people from their homes.

In an effort to prevent something similar from happening in New York, the state senate passed 10 bills to strengthen train safety. Three of them are sponsored by Transportation Chair, Tim Kennedy.

{{Kennedy}} “Number one: creating a 2 person crew for these railroads. Making sure there are individuals that are following along all the inspected areas of the trains, where they go. A heightened level of inspections.”

In the state budget, $800,000 dollars in additional funding was allocated for 10 state railroad inspectors.

{{Kennedy}} “We created a task force to focus on improving rail safety moving forward. We put in restrictions for how long a train can be and we put in new mechanisms to focus on heat emanating from these rail cars to ensure no area along the tracks can get too hot.

While the legislation has passed in the Senate, it still has yet to pass in the Assembly.

I reached out to Speaker Carl Heastie’s office to see when the bills would be taken up, but I am still awaiting a response.

Reporting in Albany, I’m Jamie DeLine.