BOSTON – Massachusetts has fined two railroad companies $60,000 for leaving discarded railroad ties along the tracks, some of which later caught fire.

The state Department of Environmental Protection first noted thousands of ties abandoned by Pan Am Railways and subsidiary Boston & Maine Corp. in 1999.

Over the years, the agency noted more violations and several fires involving the ties, including a blaze last month in Northfield that drew a response from 11 fire departments in three states. The agency says the remainder of the pile is still a fire hazard.

The companies were previously fined $50,000 in 2013 and entered an agreement to clean up the ties. A spokesman for the state said Thursday the response has been “completely inadequate.”

A spokeswoman for Pan Am could not be reached.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.