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Jacksonville train 'quiet zone' proposal meets opposition

KETK
News
Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - 5:41pm

The Jacksonville trains have been a part of the community for as long as residents can remember. However, in the last 5 years, a county commissioner says the number of trains passing through the area, have increased nearly 300 percent, blowing whistles more than 90 times every night. 

So almost 50 locals signed a petition requesting a "quiet zone". After conducting three years of research, the Railroad Commission and Union Pacific created a plan to make the zone possible. This involves closing off a 30 foot section of County Road 3304 on one side of the track, and building a cul-de-sac on the other side. Drivers would have access to Highway 79 via FM 747.

KETK spoke with Katherine Pinotti, the County Commissioner from Precinct 3, who said, "This would eliminate 20 to 30 percent of the train noise because of the laws where they have to blow three times at each crossing". 

However not everyone agrees with the proposal, because that county road allows easy access to the historic Ragsdale Cemetery. Resident Jerry Battle said, "The crossing was put in there especially for the cemetery, and that is the main entrance into the cemetery". While another resident, Theo Green, said, "It would put undue pressure on those burying their loved ones". 

The plan is still up for debate. Pinotti said, "I don't know what the outcome will be. My job is to bring it out, talk about it, and make a decision that's going to be best for everybody". The Commissioner would love to hear your opinion, so she welcomes visitors to her office. The address is 7500 U.S.. Hwy. 79W, Jacksonville, TX 75766. 

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