For months, city hall, residents and business owners have been embroiled in a battle with railway giant CSX. Slow moving and dormant trains have caused community concerns, but progress to solve some of the pressing issues seem to be in the works.
“A week and half has gone by, and no calls is great news for Garden City,” said Mayor Don Bethune.
Bethune has said there wasn’t a day that went by since May of this year where he wouldn’t get calls from residents and business owners complaining about trains tying up traffic for up to two hours at a time.
“Whatever CSX did internally has helped,” he said.
Fox 28 reached out to CSX for comment on what the railway company is and has been doing differently, a company spokesperson released this statement.
“CSX has worked closely with Garden City leaders, businesses and residents to fully understand their concerns and the challenges that exist there. As a result of those productive conversations, CSX has provided city leaders and first responders with direct contacts for local CSX personnel should any urgent issues arise. And after a full review of our operations, we've made some adjustments to minimize the impact of our operations. As we continue serving the growing Port of Savannah, we remain focused on being a good neighbor to Garden City residents and businesses, and we look forward to keeping an open line of communication with city leaders.”
Mayor Bethune said after we had reported on the last city council meeting when folks voiced their frustrations, he received two calls from CSX officials.
“One from CSX in Atlanta and one from the local manager, they both said we are looking at the situation and we are going to take care of the problem,” said Bethune.
This has some business owners like Angela and Terry Durrence being cautiously optimistic.
“We don't have any customers complaining anymore, we’re not complaining, we’re very happy with this situation. We just hope that this situation continues and that they don't go back to what they were doing,” said Angela.
The mayor is hoping the long train delays are a thing of the past.
“There will be some blockages in the future. But, we haven't had any of those two and half hour blockages since I was told they were going to fix the problem,” said Bethune.
Mayor Bethune said there now is an open line of communication and he wants residents and business owners to know he is a phone call away.
“If there is a blockage most of them have my number and I’m sure they will call me. I have the contact for CSX to call and I’m assured they will take care of the problem,” said Bethune.