PA - After Malfunctions and Derailments, CSX Says Repairs Done : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

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Title: CSX repairs done; rail line to increase speed

March 23, 2000

By BRIAN FREEMAN Of the Times Staff

DARBY BOROUGH -- A little more than a month after a CSX Transportation train derailment stunned this town, company officials said the repairs on the railroad corridor that runs between the Chester Pike Tunnel and the Cobbs Creek Trestle have been completed.

According to Janet L. Scagnelli, assistant general counsel for CSX, and David J. Evers, chief regional engineer for CSX, the repairs and re-railing operations associated with the Feb. 13 derailment meet all Federal Railroad Administration requirements, and trains can now resume their original speed limit of 30-mph on that portion of the track. That news was met with mixed emotions yesterday by Mayor Paula Brown, who has been at odds with CSX since early February.

"We got their attention, but we are going to monitor their speeds very closely," Brown said. "But this is a start in right direction. Now that we have the certification, we have to get officials together from our neighboring towns so we can meet with the state legislators and discuss our common problem."

Borough Solicitor Fincourt Shelton said he was pleased with CSXs efforts to repair the tracks, but he warned that the freight giant had better be in compliance with FRA regulations.

"If CSX did the work, and the FRA gave its approval, then its a 30-mph corridor," Shelton said. "If they didnt do the work, then somebody will be suing them soon." The rift between CSX and Brown began last month after the Feb. 13 derailment. Brown said there had been five derailments since Feb. 2, while CSX officials disputed the mayors claims and said there had been three mishaps during that span.

Other complaints have ranged from malfunctioning crossing signals to horn noise to children climbing over the trains on their way home from school.

The situation reached a boiling point when Darby Borough Mayor Paula Brown drove her $250 green 1980 Dodge Diplomat over the tracks and parked it in the path of a CSX train Feb. 17. A federal injunction forced her to move it hours later.

Brown has also vehemently complained to CSX officials about the continued stoppages by trains at Sixth and Main streets, which she said cuts off the entire town.

The situation has escalated to the point where U.S. Reps. Curt Weldon, R-7 and Chaka Fattah, D-2, plan to meet with CSX officials in Washington D.C., in the next few weeks to discuss the matter. And Rep. Ron Raymond, R-162, will hold a public forum at Collingdale Borough Hall, 800 MacDade Blvd., at 11 a.m. Thursday, March 30. Raymond has asked the House Consumer Affairs Committee to conduct a public hearing on the matter.

Michael Brimmer, CSXs regional vice president for state relations, will participate in the March 30 meeting that is open to all residents."Our first and primary obligation, concern and focus is safety," CSX spokesman Bob Sullivan said.

"Safety for the community, for our employees and in the handling of materials we carry for our customers. It is not our desire to be at odds with any community in which we operate."


-- (, March 23, 2000

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