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Friday, Oct. 24, 2014

Blunt discusses railroad safety issues in town

Sunday, April 30, 2006

(Photo)
Gov. Matt Blunt and Mayor Mike Marshall discuss Sikeston's safety concerns regarding the proposed increase in Union Pacific traffic through town.
SIKESTON -- Gov. Matt Blunt is very informed on Sikeston's situation with a proposed increase in train traffic, according to Mayor Mike Marshall.

"It's refreshing," Marshall said regarding Blunt's knowledge of the issue upon arriving.

The governor met with the mayor, Department of Public Safety Director Drew Juden, City Councilman Jerry Pullen, former city councilman and mayor Josh Bill and businessman Bruce Barnes for a 45-minute discussion on the city's safety concerns related to a plan by the Union Pacific Railroad which would bring additional train traffic through Sikeston on a daily basis.

The Surface Transportation Board is currently reviewing an application from the Union Pacific Railroad to take possession of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe line which runs from Sikeston north to Rockview by trading out Union Pacific lines located in Colorado.

The railroad would then implement "directional running" by sending its southbound traffic through Sikeston and its northbound traffic on the tracks running between Dexter and Rockview.

Union Pacific spokesmen have said their plan would result in an increase of about 18 trains per day, although they have acknowledged that the railroad would not be limited to that number if the STB's approval is given.

City officials and community leaders have stated the railroad should consider following through with its original plan of doubletracking the Dexter-

Rockview line.

Following the discussion, the governor and mayor went to view the railroad crossing at Salcedo Road - a crossing located within sight of the Clearview Nursing Home and the Sikeston Middle School that would be affected by the increase in train traffic.