No increase in train traffic

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 27, 2005

The Selma Times Journal

Despite local concerns that trains are excessively holding up traffic in Selma, no record exists to support the theory.

According to Norfolk Southern, no increase of train traffic has been routing through Selma.

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“We’ve been running trains for FEMA – one a day – but there’s been no change or increase,” said Susan Terpay, public relations for Norfolk Southern Alabama.

“We’ve been moving trailers down from Elkhart, Ind., bringing them South, but I checked and there’s been no increase in the number of trains moving through Selma.”

The city, quilted by rail lines, does have temporary delays as trains route through.

On Hwy 80-E, Ronnie Brech, the owner of Brech Marine Supply, said, “they’ll block it out here every once in awhile.

It’s not much of a problem out here. This road doesn’t get that much traffic.”

Mayor James Perkins issued a press release on Wednesday, stating:

“Many citizens, as I, have noticed and commented on the increase in train traffic.

After conversations with representatives from train companies and from personal knowledge, the following explanations are provided.

“Recent economic growth within the Selma area has increased train traffic.

“Because of high fuel prices, companies are using trains more to move raw materials and finished products to and from the market place.

“Hurricane Katrina severely damaged some railways to the south of us and some of that rail traffic has been rerouted through our area.

“The net result is that our community is experiencing ‘economic growth.’

“Boy, we have not been here in a long time, but considering the alternative, this is great news and I am thankful.

The city of Selma will continue to work with train company representatives to help with traffic management issues.

You may recall about three years ago, one of the train companies proposed closing several crossing within the city.

I made a counter-proposal suggesting in exchange for the street closings, an overpass be constructed in the center of town, but that proposal was not accepted.

“As we grow and move forward, I will continue to seek ways to manage our growth.”