Circleville Council Hears Opinions on Railroad Crossings

Circleville Council heard a lot of dialog about the railroad that runs through Roundtown, Tuesday evening. 

In a hearing on a proposal to close four grade crossings, both public and city offered opinions. 

Representatives of the Norfolk Southern Railway, and the Ohio Rail Development Commission, explained there is a governmental mandate to reduce the number of crossings by 25%. 

After several years of discussion, four grade closings were proposed in Circleville.  Only one had much resistance, a spur crossing on East Corwin Street close to two industries that has maybe one ten-mile-an-hour train a week. 

Crossings at West Mill Street, West Ohio Street, and Huston Street received almost no commentary. 

Mayor Don McIlroy said the railroad will now make a new proposal to him, and he will share it with council.  

But the city wants other changes.  Several complaints were aired about newly replaced crossings deteriorating quickly, and piles of railroad rubble sitting around. 

McIlroy said he hopes to hear back from the railroad in a week. 

Service Director Don Sherman agreed that the angled route of the tracks through Circleville makes choices difficult.  He said they cross many key north-south or east-west streets. 

Sherman felt the discussion went well, and was a long time coming...but after twenty years, when asked about the timeline for action, he said he gave up guessing long ago.

The topic of building an overpass or underpass was also brought up, but that was set aside as a separate, major issue. 

The Scioto Valley Railroad was built about 1876, and eventually became part of the Norfolk & Western Railway in the early twentieth century, and then Norfolk Southern between 1990 and 1997. 

Kevin Coleman regularly reports on Chillicothe & Circleville councils and local culture

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