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

Required hazard mitigation and efforts to reduce risks to hospitals makes the Downtown Utica an undesirable location. As proposed, the downtown site is just 2,000 feet from one of the Northeast's Busiest Freight Railroads. We caution against hysteria and fear mongering, but this page explains why we ask, What's So Wrong With St. Luke's?

The tracks carry many CSX trains that transport; chemicals, gases, and 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".

Join the Downtown Utica Hospital Red Zone Discussion on Facebook

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.

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 DOT-111 Training Center.

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 are 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, and an area less conducive to healing, make 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)

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? " 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..."

March 8, 2017 - Proposed Downtown Hospital Site Just 2,000 Feet From CSX 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 too about 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

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.

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