Problems with these trains flair up periodically and residents have in the past complained to city officials, the county, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the transit agency that runs the PATH system.
Although the garbage-filled rail cars are covered with black tarps, perhaps to keep the trash from blowing away, the tarps do nothing to mitigate foul odors. Earlier this year residents complained to members of the city's newly-formed Environmental Commission and members of the City Council.
Getting freight rail lines, like Conrail, to change how they operate can be a challenge since they are regulated by the federal government and municipal, county, and state authorities have no jurisdiction over them.
In June, Ward C City Councilwoman Nidia Lopez, who represents the Journal Square community, recommended that residents contact the Hudson Region Health Commission whenever nasty odors from these trash trains sit on the tracks for long periods of time. Residents who wish to complain can call (201) 223-1133. Hudson County residents can also call the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection's Northern Field Office at (973) 656-4444. - E. Assata Wright