Overloaded Cars Contributed to New Britain Train Derailment: Report - NBC Connecticut

Overloaded Cars Contributed to New Britain Train Derailment: Report

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    NEWSLETTERS

    (Published Wednesday, March 1, 2017)

    A glimpse into what may have caused a freight train to derail last December in downtown New Britain as been released.

    A report Pan Am Railways was required to submit to the Federal Railroad Administration as been obtained by the NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters.

    The report say over-packed railcars was the reason for the train derailment last December. 

    Nine cars filled with construction and demolition debris tumbled over, causing quite a mess and traffic tie ups.

    According to Pan Am Railways, the cause was "overloaded cars. The remaining of the cars were weighed and found to be overloaded."

    The report notes eight other cars were carrying hazardous materials but weren't damaged.

    Massachusetts-based Pan Am owns the 24-mile stretch of track from Berlin to Waterbury in Connecticut.

    Speed according to the report appears to be 10 miles an hour.

    Track damage pan am estimates to be over $104,000, while equipment damage capped off at $79,500.

    Frost Bridge Associates in Watertown, leases and loaded the rail cars involved.

    A spokesman for Frost Bridge Associates disputes the report and tells the NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters they were not over weight, adding, “All cars were loaded correctly and weighed at frost bridge before leaving their yard. They have never been weighed by the pan am so the cause of overload is not correct, frost bridge is waiting for the FRA report from their investigation.” 

    New Britain has been in contact with Pan Am Railways since December to get reimbursed more than $78,000 dollars in city overtime, clean up and repairs.

    New Britain attorney Joseph Skelly said the they, "advised Pan Am that we needed a response by yesterday, Feb. 28. Since we have not received a response, we are considering a number of options including litigation if necessary."

    Pan Am's report submitted to the FRA does not represent the federal agency’s official findings. The investigation is ongoing.

    NBC Connecticut is still waiting for comment from Pan Am.

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