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Sandy One Year Later: S.I. Railway Shop Slowly Getting Back On Track

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TWC News: Sandy One Year Later: S.I. Railway Shop Slowly Getting Back On Track
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The MTA continues to deal with the effects of Hurricane Sandy, including a Staten Island Railway shop that saw extensive damage to its parts inventory when it became exposed to corrosive salt water. NY1's Jose Martinez filed the following report.

On most days, you can't beat the view from just outside the Staten Island Railway's Clifton repair shops.

"Yeah, it is a nice view, but it wasn't that nice that night," recalled Cosmo Cascio of the Staten Island Railway.

That's the night Hurricane Sandy surged into the lower level of the waterfront shop, knocking out power and soaking with salt water the vital railway equipment that was stored on racks.

"We have gotten flooded here before and we just rinsed the motors out and got everything running again. But with the salt water, it's impossible. The salt just keeps eating away and eating away," Cascio said.

Nearly a year after the storm, train and railway parts damaged during Sandy are still stashed where floodwaters burst through the shop's walls.

"I've been here 37 years and the most we ever had was like a foot of water. That's what we expected. We didn't expect almost six feet of water," Cascio said.

For future storms, some equipment may be elevated. But right now, workers continue to sort through the parts, determining which might be salvageable.

"This is gonna get thrown out because these are breakers that were all soaked into salt water and stuff and these are no good," Cascio said.

Fortunately, almost all rail cars inside the shop were moved to higher ground ahead of the storm.

"Areas that were safe from flooding, safe from heavy winds. And this way we could save the fleet," said Dwayne Anglero of the Staten Island Railway.

The power to the rails that cars ride into the shop recently came back into service. But the work is far from over. Light and heat are still supplied by a temporary generator.

While the railway was running again within days of the storm, there's no timetable for when the shop will be fully operational.

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