Towns team up against trains

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 6, 2006

The city of Linden is not the only town having problems with trains.

The town of White Hall, in Lowndes County, also has their woes with train traffic disturbing citizens.

Friday, the two towns plan to hold a meeting at 10 a.m. in White Hall to pool their efforts in search of relief.

Email newsletter signup

Linden City Councilman Butch King, who has often expressed his displeasure with trains blocking traffic in Linden, said when he discovered White Hall was in a similar situation he contacted Mayor John Jackson to ask about their issues.

“We talked to Mayor Jackson and he said he had talked to the company,” King said. “He found that the problem was not with the company, it was with the employees. He said they do things just to aggravate people.”

Jackson told King some of the problems they experienced involved trains driving past their council meetings and blowing the whistle for 10 minutes at a time.

After hearing their problems, King said, he felt the two cities could work together.

“I told him we are having problems too,” King said. “I told him there was nothing that we found that could be done about it. I asked him if we could get Hank Sanders and some others, get together with them and get something passed in the state legislature to stop some of this. He was all for it.”

Linden City Administrator Cheryl Hall will attend the meeting on the city’s behalf.

Joining forces with White Hall is just one in a series of measures taken by Linden.

Hall has contacted everyone from Attorney General Troy King to the Public Service’s Rail Road Committee.

Legislation was proposed to prevent trains from blocking roadways for more than five minutes, but federal laws created problems and eventually killed the idea.

Despite their efforts, most afternoons the train stops at the busiest time of day blocking traffic on U.S. Highway 43.

Most importantly, the blockage cuts the citizens who need emergency response in half. Recently, the city established a small fire station south of the tracks, but the blockage remains for other emergency response teams.