Gee, Mr. Michael G. Marshall, Sikeston Mayor thinks the trains should move to the country. If memory serves me, I believe the railroad used to be in the country. The Delta Community Hospital was in the country and Marshall farm was in the country. The railroad didn't surround the little town of Sikeston, Sikeston surrounded the railroad. And there used to be a whole lot more of tracks and sidings. I remember the Frisco passenger train used to stop in Sikeston right downtown. Sikeston was buzzing with people everyday of the week and even more so on weekends. Then business was booming, everyone had jobs. It would take 40 hands to run a small farm. Then cotton pickers, combines and monster tractors came in. I remember 800 families moved to Sikeston in one month because their share cropping days were over!
Then business after business quit using the railroads. Rail line after rail line was abandoned. Trucks started hauling and the roads and highways started to crumble. Maybe the people of Sikeston want trucks to haul the coal that is burned in the power plant. I heard it is capable of burning 100 box car loads of coal per day! How many semi truck loads would that be running through the city of Sikeston? Oran had two railroads running full time. Morley, Blodgett, Diehlstadt, Vanduser, Tanner and Crowder had them. Oran still has one. Poplar Bluff built overpasses. Other towns have, too. So why can't Sikeston? Build one on Northwest, one on Murray Lane, one on North Main and one on South Main. That would solve traffic flow problems. Moving the railroad to the country won't do! The town would just follow and build around the tracks again.
Don't blame Burlington. Everybody puts the blame on the wrong dog. Bad planning caused Sikeston's problems. Now the airport is being hemmed in just like the railroads! Progress can be a positive or a negative on the community. What if the railroad decides to pull out all together? Then what will you do?! Plan for the future now!
Well . . .Mr. Michael G. Marshall, thank you for your most valuable time. Let me know what you think. I have friends and family in Sikeston who will get held up by the trains too.