I would like to respond to the Rockview resident who recently wrote to Speak Out in the Southeast Missourian in "Support of the Railroads." This person is clearly either misinformed or uneducated to the issues at hand.
First of all, "no one person or hand full of people" have ever said anything about doing away with the railroads or railroad jobs. In fact, it has been stated and published that no one is anti-railroad. The application for this project was turned in to the Surface Transportation Board in March 2005 in Washington, D.C.
This project, if approved, would allow the Union Pacific Railroad to acquire trackage rights from Rockview to Dexter. The proposal indicates that there would be a "rerouting" of 10 to 11 UP trains and six to eight BNSF trains extra per day, beginning by going around a curve at Rockview, then traveling south through Chaffee, Oran, Sikeston and Dexter. It has been known from the beginning that there will be closer to 40 trains per day being rerouted.
Because of the tremendous amount of additional train traffic being rerouted through these towns the federal government forced the UP railroad to have an environmental analysis done because it is of great concern to all affected. This is of grave concern for the residents of Rockview who live "inside" the proposed curve project because 40 trains a day that are 6,000 to 8,000 feetlong going around the curve at a maximum speed of 30 mph with the two exits on County Road 209 being only 1,800 feet apart will create an unacceptable and illegal amount of time the railroad will be blocking the crossings.
This will be in addition to the regular train traffic traveling north-south and east-west.
Living around the UP and BNSF trains is one thing, but this curve project proposal is the straw that breaks the camel's back. This would be total isolation for the residents of Rockview, leaving them extremely vulnerable to emergency situations.
The UP Railroad has been trying to downplay and smoke screen the STB, residents, property owners, communities and city municipalities along the 25-mile route with minimal numbers to obtain approval of their project.
This smoke screen has been lifted somewhat recently when Chris Peterson, director of governmental affairs for the Union Pacific Railroad, announced that there would be 20 or more trains per day. He failed to mention the extra BNSF trains in addition to the UP trains. It is very obvious that the number of trains is going to be closer to 40 than 10 to 11 as they indicated to the STB.
I believe the people and communities deserve the truth from the railroad. I believe the docket with its falsified numbers should be rejected by the STB and force the railroad to resubmit it at a later date with the accurate number of trains.
Having articles written in the local newspapers is fine, but anyone can and should write or e-mail the Surface Transportation Board. They want any and all comments.
Here again is the address to write to: Cathy Glidden (Project Representative), 1925 K St. N.W., Suite 500, Washington, D.C. 20423. You may call 1-202
-565-1542 or fax 1-202-565-9000. Log on to www.stb.gov and go to e-
library for filings or notices. Be sure to address comments toward "docket number 34672." Your comments will become open to the public on the Internet.
To read other comments already made, go to home page then to correspondence with the docket number.
I hope these Rockview resident never themselves or a loved one needing extreme emergency attention only to find themselves looking across the tracks at an ambulance, fire truck or law enforcement official being blocked by a train.