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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Railroad proposal is on wrong track

Wednesday, February 1, 2006

A Union Pacific railroad proposal to reroute train traffic in Sikeston that would bring as many as 20 additional trains through here daily is wrong from countless standpoints. We fully recognize the benefits and need for rail corridors throughout our region and we rely on the trains to bring goods and services to our community. But the Union Pacific plan would bring no benefits whatsoever to our community. In fact, that added rail traffic would pose serious safety issues.

Without exception, every facet of community life in Sikeston has voiced opposition to the proposal. And why not? Look at the plan. Union Pacific could bring an unlimited number of trains through here each and every day and night without providing one single service to our community. Granted, we understand that our town is not always a destination point for rail traffic. But when you consider adding another 20 or more trains per day, surely we have some say on the topic.

What is best for Union Pacific may not be best for Sikeston or Oran or Chaffee or any other community along the train route. We're not trying to hold the railroad hostage in an attempt to wring some benefit for Sikeston. But in fact, there is not today nor will there be tomorrow any benefits for Sikeston. And yet virtually half of our community could be effectively dismembered dozens of time daily. That potentially puts lives in danger and we'll have none of that.

We want to remain a partner with Union Pacific or any other transportation service. We depend on these rails to deliver coal to our power plant but there is nothing in this proposed partnership that we can point to with any satisfaction.

We urge Union Pacific to reconsider their plan and offer other options. But if it's a fight they want, it's a fight they'll get. Our Congresswoman has voiced her opposition and we fully expect other elected leaders to follow suit. Union Pacific needs to hear our voices loud and strong. Those voices are in unison.



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Michael Jensen
Michael Jensen