Residents angry over Suffolk rail terminal expansion

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Residents of Glendale and Middle Village are worried the purchase of land by a Suffolk rail company will increase already ever-present problems in the area.Photos courtesy of CURES
Residents of Glendale and Middle Village are worried the purchase of land by a Suffolk rail company will increase already ever-present problems in the area.

Locals are concerned an expanded rail terminal in Suffolk will result in expanded trains, noise and odor in Queens.

The Suffolk County Legislature approved the sale of more than 200 acres of land to Brookhaven Rail Terminal.

Residents along the tracks have longed railed against disruptive trains that rumble past their homes at all hours of the day and are worried their concerns will only increase.

“What does this mean for us? This means more trains, more emissions, more noise for residents” said Mary Parisen, chair of CURES (Civics United for Railroad Environmental Solutions).

According to Parisen, the new facility is said to be used for mining sand, but many believe it will soon be used for shipping municipal trash.

“That’s where the money is,” said Parisen.

Brookhaven Rail Terminal did not return repeated calls for comment.

“They say they are doing it to be green, but the only green is the money,” Parisen said. “Ask the residents near the rails if the rails are green. They’re still using locomotives from the 1970s.”

Residents and representatives from local elected officials made the hour-long trek to Suffolk to attend the legislature’s vote on Thursday, September 13, to speak out against the $20 million transaction.

“Our communities are already overwhelmed with polluting locomotives and more rail traffic than can reasonably be handled through the Fresh Pond Terminal in Glendale,” wrote Vincent Arcuri, chair of CB5, to the Suffolk Legislature.

Several area politicians also submitted letters to reconsider the sale to no avail.

“This is a call to examine the side effects of freight rail and handle them accordingly before expanding further and creating a larger mess,” wrote Assemblymember Mike Miller.

The sale was approved 16-2.