FARMINGDALE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Residents in Farmingdale complain they now live in “train yard condos.”

For months, they say there was no explanation for why freight and diesel work trains are suddenly parked and idling in front of their homes.

Graffiti-covered freight cars filled with gravel and chunks of rock are parked on rail spurs just feet from homes on Ivy Street and yards away from two condominium complexes there.

“The gravel freight train came about two months ago. It’s ridiculous that now I live in a train yard,” said condo owner Jane Urban.

Homeowners showed CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan photographs they documented of work trains running in the middle of the night, crushing stone as they try to sleep, breathing diesel fumes.

“And the noise… I like to have my windows open,” said condo owner Kevin McCorkell. “Now I can’t keep my window, and I still hear it. They just parked everything here.”

Residents claim they couldn’t get a straight answer about who was responsible and why. At first, they blamed a nearby gravel company seeking to expand with the town’s IDA.

So what did McLogan learn? It’s not a Farmingdale Village issue, nor is it the Town of Babylon’s. It’s a problem for the MTA, and can be traced to LIRR track expansion and upgrades.

“That’s what the work trains for the MTA are doing. They’re building infrastructure. They’re doing everything to make the commute better for people,” said Farmindale Village Mayor Ralph Ekstrand.

Train advocates say the tracks were there before the properties were built.

“If I want to sell and they look at this, nobody’s going to buy over here, and that’s wrong,” said McCorkell.

“A big yellow monstrosity pulling freight train at 3 or 4 in the morning,” said resident Jane Urban.

“We like to look out the window and enjoy the summer, and it really infringed on our personal life. I don’t think that’s fair,” said condo owner Jay Silverstein.

The MTA told McLogan it will soon provide a timetable for the removal of the gravel cars.


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