They keep the freight moving
By Alberta Stojkovic -
30 CSX railroad workers will be a presence in Morrow County for two weeks as they repair the tracks, replace 8,500 ties and resurface the track area.
Crew Supervisor, Dave Duso said that this section has been prioritized for repair. The crew is one of 22 teams that travel around the country east of the Mississippi to keep the trains moving on safe tracks. The company and crew is based in Jacksonville, Florida, but the men are from all over the United States.
Dwayne Commodore said the crew is now working up by the Iberia area. They keep their equipment on the tracks in Edison since there is a second track there. They wait until the scheduled trains have gone by and then travel up the tracks to the area where they’re working. He said they were working near Tittle’s Scrap yard that day and would get on their machines to go up the eight miles to Iberia when the all clear permission comes.
Supervisor Duso said the tracks are a Class 4 track for freight trains only. There are some rails that are Class 6 and are kept in really good — like new condition so that passenger trains can go on them at high speeds. The passenger trains can move at higher elevations of track with a greater curve of 6 degrees rather than the 4 degrees of the freight trains.
Duso said that they can also speed up the freight trains with the retied tracks. They will be installing motion detectors along the tracks in some places so lights and gates at the crossings work earlier.
Crew members Commodore and Frank Davis took pride in pointing out the machines they operate every day as they waited for the all clear to work.
“It’s the railroad” Davis said with a laugh, “We hurry up and wait!”
The crew will be working in Cleveland next. Summers are for work in the northern states and they work on the tracks in the south in the winter.
Duso said the cost of the repairs and upkeep is covered by the CSX company. Government funds are not used for most freight companies. The U.S. Government owns Am Trak and governments grants are used to subsidize them since the passenger trains aren’t as profitable as freight trains.