Townline association is regrouping in order to protest and follow this project. Please visit them on Facebook 

An environmental lawyer has been hired in Washington DC.


The following  information from USA Today newspaper. last week ,ties in to the safety of a proposed 7 track freight yard, near the Covanta Incinerator in Township of Smithtown. The outgoing freight would include incinerator ash from Covanta, which would also negotiate the destination of the ash residue. 

There were 1,164 train derailments in 2022 on 140000 miles of track, down from 6442 derailments in 1980. The article points out that the majority of derailments occur in freight yards because the train cars are switching tracks. "About 60% of all rail accidents occur in freight yards at lower speeds according to the trade group: Association of American Railroads. 

 In response to the recent train derailments, Congress is acting to require hotbox detectors every 10 miles on the track to remotely sense if a passing train's wheels are overheating. This was the cause of the Palestine Ohio derailment. IT will also mandate railroads to pay for hazmat response training (police and fire depts) for communities where railroad cars with toxic substances pass.  We need to find out if this will apply to the Huntington line of the LIRR since toxic ash will be placed in the freight cars that will run on that line.

 The decision whether to grant a permit to Carlson for the Townline freight yard is still pending at the Surface Transportation board in Washington DC.

 02/21/23 The Commack Community Association meeting . The president OF TOWNLINE Association, George, presented an update on the Townline Railroad project. No permit requests have been  ubmitted to the Town of Smithtown for this project at this point.  There are homeowners living behind the proposed  7 track freight train yard who would be impacted by diesel fumes from these freight trains as they warm up and  chug along the LIRR track . 

 01/19/23  A  meeting of CCA was held  at the Commack public library, about  100 local residents came with fierce feelings   about the planned freight rail extension,  intended  as the means of transporting  incinerator ash from Covanta off Long Island.  The freight trains would run on the Huntington line at night utilizing about 22 train cars.   The return trip would allow for delivery of goods and lumber including autos to Long Island whereafter trucks would meet the train and transfer the goods for local delivery.

   The only alternative is to continue using trucks to carry the ash off Long Island for safe disposal, to somewhere else. Currently the ash is trucked to the Brookhaven landfill  which is closing  next year! There will not be any landfills  operating on Long Island after 2024.   The Covanta plant is a joint venture between Town of  Huntington  and Town of Smithtown and produces electricity for 25000 homes from burning  our garbage and residue ash. Covanta operates 40 such facilities.

One freight car equals 4 trucks depending on the volume.

  Date 02/2023 

Per conversation with an employee of the Surface Transportation ,an environmental  assessment statement is expected  in April 2023. There will be another public comment period.  It was explained to me that  safety issues including  quiet zones are regulated by another Railroad board. The Surface Transportation Board is an independent federal agency which was split off from the Interstate Commerce Commission to handle the economic side of  the freight  and other surface modes of transport .

A proposed privately owned freight line for the Huntington Line of the LIRR has reached the Surface Transportation Board public comment period!   The  opening statement  on their website is as as follows ;"The petition for exemption raises issues that require consideration by the Board" By petition filed November 17, 2022, Townline Rail Terminal, LLC (Townline), an affiliate of Carlson Corp, Inc."

    This is an excerpt from the request for public comment:

CarlsonCorp), seeks an exemption under 49 U.S.C. § 10502 from the prior approval requirements of 49 U.S.C. § 10901 to construct and operate a new rail line in Smithtown, Suffolk County, N.Y. (the Line).  According to Townline, the Line would extend approximately 5,000 feet on a portion of Carlson Corp’s industrial property and would run parallel to the Long Island Railroad (LIRR) Port Jefferson Line. (Id.) Townline states that the New York & Atlantic Railway (NYAR) operates on the Port Jefferson Line and has entered into an agreement with Carlson Corp, on behalf of LIRR, to install a new switch that would connect the Line to the Port Jefferson Line. (Id. at 2-3.) Townline also states that it would interchange with NYAR and anticipates that it would operate one train per day for five days per week.

  Our Senator Gillibrand sits on the  Surface Transportation Committee and wrote a letter on behalf of one of the  Brookhaven town sites. Her local phone number in Melville is 631 249 2825.