Local News

Fayetteville Claims Railroad Company Not Doing Enough To Fix Tracks

Posted August 20, 2003 4:48 a.m. EDT

— Leaders of a local community watch organization say they often see trash along the railroad tracks that run through their neighborhood. They say they have not been able to get the area cleaned up.

Retired Vietnam veteran Theodore DeBose has a new fight these days. DeBose has lived near Fayetteville State University for 18 years. He said railroad crossings are worn down.

"It costs us money for their neglect," he said.

DeBose also said people's cars are getting ruined due to missing spikes and pavement. He said the community's image also suffered from the neglect. With students crossing the tracks, he also worries about safety. DeBose said he blames CSX Railroad for not doing something about it.

"[They are] very arrogant. 'We control this. We'll do what we want to do. You can't make us do anything, so we won't,'" he said.

Debose called city inspectors, who said CSX is responsible for the cleanup. Inspectors even called the railroad company about the situation two months ago. They said CSX told them the spikes were for an upcoming construction project. They never heard back about the trash.

The vice president of state relations for CSX told WRAL that this is the first the company had heard about the complaints. He assured WRAL that he would investigate.

Councilman D.J. Haire is also concerned. He asked the State Railroad Division whether it could get CSX moving.

"They move at their desired speed," Haire said. "We always talk about as an elected official the health and quality of life. That's not good quality of life."

Haire said he wants CSX to be a better business partner by fixing the tracks and picking up the trash.

The DOT's Rail Division says it is not responsible for the cleanup. However, after WRAL inquired about the story, the organization did set up a meeting with Haire. He will show them the problems in a tour next week in the hopes they can help facilitate a solution with the railroad.