Local News
12:35 pm
Wed November 7, 2012

P&L Railway Now Making Appointments for Outreach Centers

Update 3:30 p.m.: Paducah & Louisville Railway is implementing an appointment system for its outreach centers to people affected by the October train derailment in southwestern Jefferson County.

Here's the news release from a company spokeswoman:

I wanted to let you know that, in order to reduce waits for those visiting our P&L Outreach Centers in connection with the derailment, we are moving to an appointment system.  We also have set up a hotline for questions on issues OTHER than claims. Here are the details:

Residential/Commuter Claims:  Residents and other affected individuals may call 731-614-7636 to make an appointment to meet with a counselor to discuss reimbursement claims for hotel and food expenses and extra commuting costs or other expenses related to the derailment.

Business Claims: Businesses may call 502-492-5936 to make an appointment to meet with a counselor to discuss reimbursement for lost business due to the derailment.

Non-claims Related Questions: Callers who have questions about issues OTHER than reimbursement claims may call 1-866-728-9210. The operator at that number has basic information on several questions; any questions he or she cannot answer will be referred to the appropriate personnel.

We continue to have two Outreach Centers open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday by appointment (closed Sunday, Nov. 11) for making and following up on claims. Those visiting the centers without an appointment will be able to schedule an appointment time.

First time mileage reimbursement claims only:  VFW Post 1181, 6518 Blevins Gap Road, Louisville, KY 40272

All other claims:  Music Ranch USA building, located at 409 South Street, West Point, KY 40177

Earlier: Railroad, Contractor Working on Plan to Clear Hydrogen Fluoride Cars

Paducah & Louisville Railway and the contractor working to clean-up the train derailment site in southwestern Jefferson County must by Friday submit a plan on how they'll address two cars carrying the dangerous chemical hydrogen fluoride, a MetroSafe spokeswoman said Wednesday.

The cars carrying hydrogen fluoride must be off-loaded and moved from the site. The plan to do so may require another round of emergency notices, including a shelter-in-place warning or evacuation, said Jody Duncan, MetroSafe spokewoman.

(Five things to know about hydrogen fluoride.)

But "there is the possibility that there won't be any kind of disruption" for residents near the site, at Dixie Highway and Katherine Station Road, Duncan said.

Recently, MetroSafe executive director Doug Hamilton noted that hydrogen fluoride is routinely off-loaded from train tankers in Louisville.

Crews stabilized and leveled the hydrogen fluoride cars over the weekend, during which time an evacuation was in place for a 1.2-mile radius and a shelter-in-place warning was effective for a five-mile radius. There are no emergency orders for residents near the site at the moment.

Conditions at the scene or the weather may affect whether emergency precautions are needed, Duncan said.

There are 13 cars from the wreckage still at the site, but the P&L railroad recently re-opened -- as did Dixie Highway near the derailment site, Duncan said.

Duncan noted that the 35 miles per hour speed limit is being strictly enforced in the area, in part because of the crews working to clear up the wreckage and their equipment.

Environmental teams are taking soil samples at the site to determine the extent of contamination from spilled chemical.

Also, the federal investigation continues into how, precisely, the train derailed. A "black box" -- data recording devices similar to those used on airplanes -- has been recovered, Duncan said.

The Federal Railroad Administration issued the following statement in response to questions about the status of the investigation:

Investigators from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) are still at the crash site investigating  the cause of the derailment and why hazardous materials were released. Investigations of this nature typically take an average of six months to fully complete.