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Downtown Utica, NY: CSX Tracks =
"RED ZONE" Hospital

Join the Downtown Utica Red Zone Hospital Discussion on Facebook. We are looking at the added Risks of railroads and the downtown concept site.

Read the #mvhsdowntown SEQR study of the downtown CSX railroad, Section 3.11.4: "Reasonably Foreseeable Catastrophic Impacts".

View an illustration of this "Reasonably Foreseeable Catastrophic Impact" Of Utica's Downtown MVHS Hospital Concept.

Required hazard mitigation and efforts to reduce risks to hospitals makes the Downtown Utica an undesirable location. The downtown site is just 1,400 feet from one of the Northeast's busiest freight railroads, which carries the Inherent Risks of a railroad and Warnings Have Been Well documented, even by our local newspaper, the Utica Observer-Dispatch.

We're tracking Upstate Train Derailments. What do independant Emergency Management & Railroad Experts say?

June 14, 2020 - Explosive derailment today illustrates why an acute care hospital in Utica does not mix with hazmat-carry railroad tracks...

Outcomes... In total, 20 to 25 acres of Bureau of Land Management land burned and “People need to stay out of the area,” Kitchner told Sweetwater Now. “We have 100-foot flames and have had multiple explosions. This is a very dangerous situation.”

Sadly the Utica Hospital Administrators at MVSH twist statements to explain-away the risks, while the MVHS SEQR also twists facts and uses irrelevant data.

And one yesterday in Oklahoma, derailment, hazmat leaks and an evacuation...

May 19, 2020 - Another Upstate derailment, calls for an investigation, and yet Utica to move its two hospitals beside these same tracks?

November 8, 2019 - Train drailments occur without warning, here's one that occured today in Pennsylvania...

November 2, 2019 - Today in Boone Idaho, Train Derailment Forces Store Evacuations.

September 10, 2019 - Dupo, Illinois see as derailment, evacuation, and huge fire...

August 18, 2019 - Damage to tracks can occur during flooding. The Downtown Utica hospital site is closest to the floodplain and Flooding risks!

Yesterday, for the second time in as many years, Traffic At A Stand Still On Arterial Due To Flooding.

July 18, 2019 - News reports, North Dakota asks federal agency to intervene in oil-by-rail dispute with Washington, where one reads...

"Trains carrying Bakken crude have come under scrutiny in recent years following derailments, including a crash in 2013 that resulted in a fiery explosion and killed 47 people in Quebec. Supporters of Washington’s new law argue it’s needed to reduce the risk posed by the volatility of Bakken oil."

July 16, 2019 - In story titled, Oil production steady in May, but transportation woes persist, one can learn...

High oil production also has contributed to a slight uptick in transporting crude by rail out of North Dakota this year.

State Pipeline Authority Director Justin Kringstad said 300,000 barrels per day were carried by trains in May, continuing an upward trend that began around the start of 2019. About two-thirds goes to the Pacific Northwest, with the rest to the East Coast and Gulf Coast states.

Any increases in North Dakota’s oil production likely will result in more train traffic, he said."

June 30, 2019 - They cheer "hospital coming downtown," but the risk makes them sound silly and uncaring...

June 25, 2019 - New hospital MVHS CEO tries to explain away "red zone", it's a highly misleading effort.

Not only do trains derail frequently, Upstate Derailments Occur On A Regular Basis, surprisingly hospital are evacuated regularly. Per Disaster Medicine (PDF 33MB) we learn...

Over a 19-year study period, there were 14.4 hospital evacuations per year in the United States.

The proposed hospital, by called #MVHSdowntown, would run the risk of joining these figures.

April 12, 2019 - The train derailment topic came up today, we were reminded of this...

Learn more about Anthony Brindisi.

April 8, 2019 - As we look into the MVHS SEQR documents, we see the railroad risk is watered-down and negated. Misleading narritive and charts ...

Upstate New York facts prove that railraod derailments are common and very destructive. In fact, one need only to look to 2007 in Oneida, NY, Freight Train Derails And Explodes In Central New York.

Of the three New York State hospitals currently nearby railroad tracks, two of them are not representative to the proposed #mvhsdowntown concept, as they sit nearby tracks that DO NOT carry frieght, only passangers...

96 "Proximity to active railroads: St. Johns Riverside Hospital (Yonkers, NY) – 1,000± lf; Rochester Regional Health (St. Mary’s Campus) (Rochester, NY) – 1,500± lf; St. Joseph’s Medical Center (Yonkers, NY) – 1,500± lf).

This per the MVHS SEQR, Section 3.11.4, Titled, "Reasonably Foreseeable Catastrophic Impacts". The first and second hospitals are located on the eastern side of the Hudson River, while (dangerous) frieght cargo travels on the western banks of the Hudson. [Ref.].

Here's what the MVHS SEQR correctly identified as a "Reasonably Foreseeable Catastrophic Impact"...

February 16, 2019 - This town would know better...

Hospitals & @CSX tracks DON'T mix! #NoHospitalDowntown ! ! !

January 10, 2019 - Train derails near Hoosick Falls...

Several others have already occurred across the county since New Year. We're logging them here: Utica NY Group Logs Regular Occurrences Of Train Derailments.

December 16, 2018 - Today a Union Pacific freight train derails. Watch video news report and for photos...

Since October 6, 2017, #NoHospitalDowntown has been tracking derailments within the United States (and a few others) on Facebook, see Utica NY Doesn't Want A "Red Zone" MVHS Hospital!

December 8, 2018 - Train derailment in Albuquerque, New Mexico...

Why place a critical community resource into a higher risk zone, when accidents are frequent occurrences. Consider this Derailment & Fire.

December 1, 2018 - New York State derailment news...


November 17, 2018 - MVHS DEIS Says CSX Tracks Not Problem for Proposed Mohawk Valley Health System Hospital Concept, yet who can say when an accident will or will not happen...

We've Investigated Past Downtown Utica Train Derailments.

October 2, 2018 - Extensive study of railroad derailments, cannot prevent all future derailments. Sadly politicians don't seem very concerned and suggest building Utica's hospital in the "red zone"...

August 29, 2018 - Assemblyman Brindisi wants people to be worried about money in politics, yet he is happy to place the next 50 to 100 years of regional healthcare at risk, as he forces our only hospital into an evacuation zone...

August 16, 2018 - We've alerted our leaders, the media, and many others, and try one more time with the Utica Observer-Dispatch.

CSX Mainline Next To Proposed Downtown Utica Hospital Site

August 15, 2018 - The Iroquois Healthcare Alliance (IHA), is a trade association made up of New York State hospitals. They have created numerous Emergency Preparedness agreements and trainings. The group's website states...

"New York’s hospitals and health care systems are a critical element within the disaster response system. IHA works to help ensure our member hospitals and health systems are prepared to respond to any potential threats to public health."

So why place Utica's new and would be only hospital into an area that would become an evacuation zone?

August 14, 2018 - We're the first to caution against hysteria and fear mongering, but the information posted below explains why our group asks, What's So Wrong With St. Luke's? This campus is owned by hospital and outside federal evacuation zones...

The Utica tracks Carry Many CSX Trains Transport; Chemicals, Gas, & Oil Tanks. Many are 100-car long trains traveling 55 mph.

The short distant between the proposed downtown site and these tracks, means a new hospital would be in a "Red Zone", also known as the "blast zone".

See Downtown Utica Hospital Concept RED ZONE Map

Check for yourself; "select and copy" this address - 400 Lafayette Street, Utica, NY 13502" - and "paste" it into the "Find an address" box on this page: Mapping risk by rail transport.

July 3, 2018 - We keep reporting that the proposed downtown hospital would be within a federally designated evacuation zone (Emergency Response Guide, Page 224), as accidents continually make the news...

April 5, 2018 - Caller asks question about CSX tracks and proposed hospital... MVHS Officials discuss recruitment, update property status of downtown site.

A caller asks, "How can you call this a state-of-the-art hospital, if at a momments notice a federally mandated evacuation is required?" Listen-in...

Mr. Scholefield incorrectly states that trains pass by downtown at a slower speed. Next he further attempts to play-down the risk, saying tracks are "...like all our other hospital risks and they would just use their evacuation plans... and they can shut-off air intakes if there was an explosion." Poor and uneducated answers!

Then a caller asks about the near dormate tracks in South Utica...

Not very smart people, that's all we can say.

March 15, 2018 - Yesterday freight train derails, Route NY 5s closed, same CSX mainline passing with 1,500 feet of proposed Downtown Utica hospital site, which is a Red Zone!!"

March 7, 2018 - Another freight train collision! Proposed #mvhsdowntown Utica hospital would be in a "Red Zone"...

March 1, 2018 - Earlier this month Utica-area politicians state rail safety must be invested in, "...federal funding for vital programs to upgrade rail infrastructure and safety, at a time when these improvements are urgently needed."

February 15, 2018 - Just too common, and certainly very unwise to place new Oneida County, Utica's only hospital, so close to our CSX mainline.

February 4, 2018 - Another freight/Amtrak collision, proposed #mvhsdowntown Utica hospital would be in a "Red Zone"...

Elected officials cannot explain-away the facts. For example on February 1, 2018, Mr. Brindisi stated "... the exterior of the downtown hospital would be flame proof..", this is plainly absurd! Also, Oneida County has trained for very real oil tank hazmat derailments, view the City of Utica, Leland Avenue, Fire Department (DOT-111 Railcar Tanker) Training Center.

Utica Fire Department Training For DOT-111 Rail Disaster On Oneida County CSX Railroad Tracks

January 12, 2018 - Today these same trains are rolling through Downtown Utica, under 2,000 feet from where our hospital administrators and politicians have placed their hospital concept...

Also read article that states, "These same trains pass through other major cities in Western and Central New York, including Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, and Utica."

December 19, 2017 - "Don't be alarmists", and "When has a train derailed and Downtown Utica ever been evacuated?"

Not the case at all... we're just stating a fact; the downtown site is very close to the Northeast's busiest rail corridor, while St. Luke's is on a distant green hill. Accidents continue to happen. Just yesterday in the early morning hours, how many people stayed home in Seattle because they though their train would derail?

Placing a critical asset in a higher risk area - our new regional hospital - and an area less conducive to healing, make very little sense. Consider this quote:

"We also address track safety in the bill. In 2006, track-related accidents surpassed human factors-related accidents as the leading category of all train accidents. In Oneida, New York, Pico Rivera, California, Home Valley, Washington, Minot, North Dakota, rodaway, Iowa, they all raise serious concerns about the condition and about the safety of track on the Nation's railways. On April 18, as a result of the Oneida accident, FRA did an audit of CSX tracks in upstate New York and found 78 track defects and one serious violation." [Ref.]

No fabrications; and as shown here OIL TRAIN EXPLOSIONS: A TIMELINE IN PICTURES where is states, "Ten explosions in two years, and no end in sight."

November 27, 2017 - Accidents happen, that's one reason we have hospitals. It is also a reason critical hospitals should be constructed in low-risk areas, not beside hazardous railroad tracks...

And here's the newest hospital concept...

Derailment dangers, the noise, what are these people thinking? Just 1-3/4 miles away there is 64-acres, so What's So Wrong With St. Luke's?

October 17, 2017 - "Hazard Mitigation" and "Risk Mitigation"...

The danger is real, here's a 320 page "Lesson Plan" for Rail Incident Preparedness & Response title; TRANSPORTATION RAIL INCIDENT PREPAREDNESS & RESPONSE:FLAMMABLE LIQUID UNIT TRAINS, INSTRUCTOR LESSON PLAN FINAL (10_01_2015)

Read the Association of American Railroads's SAFETY - Crude Oil by Rail - Helping the U.S. Become Energy Independent

December 3, 2015 - Local news broadcast by Keith Hunt of News Channel 2, shows local Utica Firefighters training to extinguish a tanker train fire, watch his video Tanker Trains. Closing comment by then Chief Russel Brooks, "...were one of these fires to occur in this area, it probably would be beyond our capabilities."

Where are the oil trains coming from and going? View a map of the Bakken Shale Delivery Route Through Utica. What is the Bakken Shale? "...is one of the largest (possibly the largest) continuous oil accumulations in the world."

A train's tanker cars carrying oil from the Bakken Shale formation have traveled around 2,000 miles before reaching Utica. Failures of equipment are hopefully found early, but there are risks with such long journeys.

Read October 6, 2017 comments from the #NoHospitalDowntown group on Facebook. Also this Breaking News: CSX train derails and Hits house in Northwest Atlanta... "I wouldn't want live that close to the tracks as much as I have a love and fascination with trains..."

August 2, 2017 - Today a freight train derails before making New York State. According to this story, Pennsylvania town evacuated after train carrying hazardous materials derails, the train was headed towards Albany's Selkirk Rail Yard.

View our interactive Upstate Train Derailment map.

March 8, 2017 - Proposed Downtown Utica hospital site just 1,400 feet from CSX railroad tracks!

Today Utica has three hospitals, St. Luke's is part of a medical district near Utica College. It shares a modern $15 million dollar co-generation power plant, a "green" micro-grid. St. Luke's has lots of room, 64-acres, enough space to Keep the St. Luke's home & Construct Eight Hospitals. And as you can see, they could Build a new hospital & medical office building, while the current hospital continues to function.

Why move the hospital into the compact area of downtown? The area is very close to CSX freight tracks hauling 100-car oil trains...

Why bulldoze Downtown Utica as many new developments are taking place? With Nano we will create even more demand for a vibrant urban city downtown. This, and Utica has Faxton Hospital expanding services, it just doesn't make sense.

Looking back to January 28, 2014, Governor Cuomo signs Executive Order 125 to, Take Action to Strengthen the State's Oversight of Shipments of Petroleum Products. "Whereas, the increase in frequency and numbers of rail cars, ships, and barges carrying crude oil and other petroleum products through hundreds of New York communities increases the public's vulnerability to a serious accident..."

Search for listing of Governor Cuomo's Latest Round of Rail Inspections.

Looks like the Utica Fire Department is Practicing for a Tanker Train Fire

Take notice of this Homeland Security and Emergency Services Training Announcement (PDF) for TRANSPORTATION RAIL INCIDENT PREPAREDNESS & RESPONSE: HIGH HAZARD FLAMMABLE LIQUID UNIT TRAIN (HHFT)

April 10, 2016 - Of Trains & Hospitals Over the weekend someone from the medical community pointed out to #NoHospitalDowntown that the proposed downtown hospital would place the new hospital within 2,000 feet of the heavily used railroad tracks.

It was further reported that in the event of a train derailment carrying toxic materials, a certain radius around the crash site would need to be evacuated (for example, 2015 Tennessee train derailment). If this were to include the new hospital, a compound problem would exist; the hospital might need to be evacuated, yet potential accident victims would be seeking care at the hospital.

What of the dangers of moving the hospital, away from St. Luke’s, and within 2,000 feet of the well-documented concerns over “100 car oil trains”? These are factual statements, and scary concerns, which advocates for the hospital will simply say we are using to scare people- but if we just had those site selection studies, we all might know if such risks were analyzed and or remedied. But we the people don’t, so... As we’ve said from the start: No information, no studies, no reports, thus we remain #NoHospitalDowntown

March 2, 2016 - Consider this Governor Cuomo Issues Update on Train Derailment in Ripley, NY, where we learn...

"Late Tuesday evening, I directed the State Police, Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services’ Offices of Emergency Management and Fire Prevention and Control as well as the Department of Environmental Conservation to respond to a 16 car train derailment on the Norfolk Southern line in the town of Ripley, NY in Chautauqua County. Two of the rail cars contained ethanol which leaked causing an evacuation of surrounding homes in the area as an emergency precaution..."

Toxic freight trains and nearby hospitals do not mix! Consider: Derailment + 1/2 Mile + Evacuation

Accidents happen, and who would have thought that our very own modernized Union Station would be struck by a train? Well it did occurred, for the story: Investigation continues after Union Station train crash, plus Video of Runaway Rail Car Crash in Utica.

Looking back, a 2013 article revealed: "Nobody inside or outside the industry you can find who will actually speak in defense of the current rolling stock," says Lloyd Burton, who studies rail transport of hazardous materials at the University of Colorado. In 1991, the Federal Transportation Safety Board called these tankers “inadequate.” As recently as 2012, the NTSB said they have a “high incidence of tank failure” (PDF, see page 5). The DOT-111 is the black sausage-looking tanker that blew up in Lac Megantic, Quebec.

A summary of the issues and risks regarding the transport of Bakken crude oil by rail car and how this impacts Albany which is currently a destination for these rail cars., and a report titled, Lac-Mégantic Runaway Train & Derailment Investigation Summary


Learn all about New York State Freight Rail on their information page.

Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), on Facebook at #USADOTFRA, and on Twitter @USDOTFRA.

Federal Transit Administration (FTA), on Facebook #FTADOT, and on Twitter @FTA_DOT.

Association of American Railroads (AAR) on Facebook at #FreightRail, at Twitter @AAR_FreightRail.

Our group wants a new hospital, however as we have said for over 2-1/2 years: the location is all wrong, Here's 20+ Reasons Why, but it conflicts with Utica's small scale and our Master Plan.

The Utica concept would equal another destructive phase of urban renewal for our downtown, and as the above story suggests - Springfield Regional Medical Center did not revive it's downtown. Take action, write a letter and or make a call... here the Contact Information you need.

No Studies, No Reports, thus we remain #NoHospitalDowntown