Possible 4000 Gallons of Diesel Fuel Spills into West Branch, Upper Delaware River

Highly visible diesel fuel slicks and strong fuel odors have been detected as far south as Lordville, NY and likely much further downstream.

Update: There were 63 cars including the four locomotives at the front.  Fifteen of the cars derailed including two of the locomotives holding the 4,000 gallons of diesel fuel. All four locomotives derailed, but did not fall into the river.  Some of the cars derailed very close to the river and according to The New York, Susquehanna and Western Railway Corp. two cars werfe partially submerged in the river. A drone video of the aftermath posted on Facebook by Matthew Appley shows the end of one car is partially submerged.  Fuel did leak into the river, prompting a warning from the National Park Service that members of the public should not go into the river in a manner where skin is likely to come into contact with the water such as in a tube.   By 4:00 workers were moving the cars that had not derailed away from the scene. There were no injuries connected to the event.

--Fritz Mayer


A statement from the Friends of the Upper Delaware River on the train derailment that occurred early Thursday morning August 9, 2018 near the Hale Eddy Bridge:

At approximately 2:30 this morning a Norfolk/Southern "mixed cargo" train transporting various types of waste derailed just above the Hale Eddy Bridge, on the West Branch of the Upper Delaware River, near Deposit, NY.

Highly visible diesel fuel slicks and strong fuel odors have been detected as far south as Lordville, NY and likely much further downstream.  The derailment occurred at a time when the Upper Delaware region has experienced recent torrential rainstorms, in addition to high releases from the NYC Delaware basin reservoirs.

FUDR is in touch with the NYSDEC and other first responders and here's what we know:

  • NYSDEC is reporting that the train was carrying an estimated 4000 gallons of diesel fuel and a "large percentage" has spilled into the river.
  • At least two rail cars are in the river.
  • According to NYSDEC they believe the cars in the river are either empty or contain construction and demolition debris. 
  • NYSDEC Region 4 emergency spill team, fisheries, law enforcement, and drones are on site.
  • High water makes it difficult to capture fuel; responders are looking for eddies and pooled up areas to address first.
  • National Park Service officials are on site.

We will keep you posted as more information comes in.

For the river,

Jeff Skelding, Executive Director



Facebook user Matthew Appley posted the following video


A statement from The New York, Susquehanna and Western Railway Corp.:


At 2:01 am a west-bound train, departing from New Jersey heading to Binghamton, with 4 locomotives and 63 railcars derailed west of Hale Eddy Road in the Town of Deposit, New York.  Both crew members are unharmed and there are no other injuries.  All four locomotives are derailed, the exact number of railcars derailed is yet to be determined.  None of the cars containing hazmat were derailed and there were no releases or spills of hazmat material.  Two of the cars that were derailed are partially submerged at one end in the West Branch of the Delaware River, both cars were empty, not carrying freight.  All of the fuel from one of the locomotives has leaked from the fuel tank, a second locomotive had a fuel tank leak that was contained.  

The train consisted of 63 railcars, of which 38 are empty. There was one hazmat car containing corrosive liquid and thirteen containing contaminated soil.  Again, none of the derailed cars carried hazardous material.  There were two other commodities on the train, construction debris and non-hazmat soils. 

There is no estimate at this time on how long it will take to remove the derailed cars and open the line for rail traffic.

The cause of the derailment appears to be from a washout from the recent storms and flash floods.  The NYS&W is cooperating with all state and local agencies on a full investigation of the derailment.




On Facebook the Upper Delaware Scenic & Recreational River has a post encouraging land owners who may have fuel on their property to contact them and are advising people to stay out of the river.




WBNG is also covering the event in detail. Their updates can be found here


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