Runaway railcars barrel across busy Otsego County Roadway

Two railcars get loose and cross a busy roadway in Otsego County.

Posted: Nov 14, 2017 8:52 AM

Colliarsville, N.Y. - Fortunately no cars were coming across a particular point of State Highway 7 in Colliarsville Saturday morning when two runaway railcars came barreling across the roadway.

The cars belong to the Leatherstocking Railcar Historical Society (LRHS) which is based in nearby Milford.  Colliarsville is just northeast of Oneonta.

LRHS President Bruce Hodges says the not for profit agency had recently acquired two vintage railcars from a rail yard in New Hampshire, and Saturday morning around 11:30 a crew of volunteers from LRHS were moving some of their previously owned railcars in order to make room for the new ones. That's when two of the older cars got loose about 1,000 feet from where they ended up on Rt. 7 in Colliarsville, "The crew was down there switching out equipment so that we could go down where we connect up with Norfolk Southern Railway to get those, and that's where we had a problem with breaks not holding and the cars got away."

Hodges says one of the LRHS volunteers suffered a shoulder injury, "We had a guy on the point, he had to bail off the train because he realized there was no way he could stop it. He didn't know exactly how it was going to end so he he just jumped off the train."

As far as preventing this type of thing from happening in the future, Hodges says preventative measures have already been taken, "We took a whole section of rail out so that there's absolutely no way if anything got away again that it would not go anywhere near the road and everything's been secured with skates, chained down, all the handbrakes are applied, so everything's in position."

Hodges says if any of the railcars breaks fail in the future when they're being moved, they wouldn't get that far now that that 39 foot section of track has been removed well before the tracks end at Rt. 7 in Colliarsville.

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