Friday, July 1st, 2016
M&E TO INSTITUTE SAFETY MEASURES — RAIL CARS CAN START TO ROLL AGAIN
Superior Court Judge Stephan Hansbury this afternoon signed an order that calls for the Morristown & Erie Railway to institute additional safety and emergency response measures to deal with potential hazards caused by the storage of butane and propane filled rail cars on the tracks of the Morris County owned High Bridge Rail Line in western Morris County.
Judge Hansbury, during a hearing in Morristown, also ended his temporary ban on the flow of more butane-propane holding rail cars by M&E Railway to the rail storage area in Mount Olive. There are now about 18 rail cars at that location.
The judge signed an order to deal with safety issues raised by officials from Morris County, Mount Olive, Washington Township, and Roxbury regarding their concerns about the storage of the rail cars.
Morristown & Erie officials agreed to cooperate fully with county and town to implement the safety measures.
It also followed a Federal Railroad Administration inspection of the site, requested by the county, which found M&E in compliance with federal safety standards.
The key points of the safety plan approved by the judge require the following by M&E:
Morris County filed legal papers last month in Superior Court citing safety issues and a lack of prior county approval by Morristown & Erie Railway for the storage business on the county owned rail line.
The county’s contention that M&E violated its contract with the county by adding the storage business will be further heard by Judge Hansbury during a future court proceeding.
Morris County contracts with M & E Railway to operate rail services along its three county-owned railroads, including the High Bridge Branch located in the townships of Roxbury, Mount Olive, and Washington. That five-year contract commenced in 2012 and is due to expire on June 30, 2017.