What’s Causing That Nasty Smell in Mechanicville-Stillwater Neighborhood?
Driving through Mechanicville and especially growing up there, you know there is a good chance that you will get stuck by a train at some point. It's a railroad town. In fact, I grew up on Railroad Street and there are literally tracks in the front and the back of my childhood home. Although we all tolerate the waiting and the loud horns from the trains, there is a neighborhood that is dealing with something quite nasty because of them.
What's That Smell?
There is a neighborhood in and around West Street in Mechanicville and on the Stillwater border, that is fed up with the "trash trains". These are actual containers full of household garbage waiting to be picked up, by train, and transported to a landfill in South Carolina. According to the Times Union, these train cars sit for days in the railyard behind these homes and give off a horrible smell of rotting garbage.
What do They Look Like?
This is a snapshot of what the trains look like as they head to South Carolina to get rid of the garbage. You can see there are a lot of cars and they are double stacked. Picture a rail yard full of these just sitting there.
Is Anything Being Done About This?
Well yes and no. The major problem is that Pan Am, responsible for the trash trains, doesn't own the tracks running through Mechanicville and Stillwater. These are run by Norfolk Southern. This company is severely understaffed therefore the trains stay sitting in the railyard for days. The smell can get unbearable to the neighborhoods. So pretty much the town's hands are tied.
What Do The Residents Say?
They are fed up with the whole issue. It has affected their summer days and even socializing outside with other neighbors.
Resident Dana Funaro said:
It’s beyond disgusting. No one seems to care enough to address the issue. Yet we have another train full of garbage parked behind our house today.
Another resident, Antoinette Brady Mansfield says she's had about enough:
The train sits for hours. On this particular day, last week, I was sitting behind the house when I arrived home from work and I had to go inside our house. It was a beautiful night to work in the yard. But I was unable to, because of the smell.
Claiming that they are understaffed is their answer so far and it is not good enough for these neighborhoods. They are hoping that the DEC may step in soon.