Concerns over railway crossing

By Erin Perkins -

POINT PLEASANT — Concerned citizens recently attended the Mason County Commission meeting to further discuss a CSX crossing issue at Brown Lane in Gallipolis Ferry.

At a previous meeting, the commission discussed scheduling a meeting with an APG representative and/or speaking with a CSX representative along with the residents to try and figure out a solution to this crossing issue.

Dennis Zimmerman, emergency manager for Mason County, shared he spoke with a personal friend who is at corporate headquarters at CSX. Zimmerman sent maps of the area as well as photos forwarded to him by the residents to his friend. The friend is putting a team together of individuals in management who could help resolve this issue and once his team is formed, he will have a phone conference with the commission and Zimmerman.

Residents shared they have continued to call the CSX crossing police as Zimmerman advised them to do earlier when the train’s stop time goes over the 10 minute limit. They have also continued to write complaint letters and send complaint emails to CSX. However, the issues they are facing do not change.

It was reported the train’s stops follow no specific schedule, so planning around the stops is practically impossible and the wait times on the trains can be as long as 2 1/2 hours. School children as well as workers are facing the issue of being late to school and/or work at times. Also, some of the children have reportedly been crossing under the stopped trains to get home. It was shared just a few miles up from the crossing at Brown Lane there are only soybean fields where if the train stopped there would be no blockage problems.

The commissioners asked the residents to make list of all children effected by this crossing issue and Zimmerman told the residents to keep calling the crossing police until this issue is resolved.

Commissioner President Tracy Doolittle told the residents the commission along with Zimmerman will not stop on this until a resolution is made.

Prosecuting Attorney R.F. Stein encouraged the residents and commission to continue on the path Zimmerman is taking them. Also, he suggested the commission enact ordinances that address public health and safety and/or public nuisances or even drafting and passing a new ordinance in regards to the crossing issue. He explained should that ordinance be violated, residents could call the Mason County Sheriff’s Department and have them take the matter into their hands.

By Erin Perkins

Erin Perkins is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, extension 1992.

Erin Perkins is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, extension 1992.