LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) - Burlington Northern Santa Fe (B.N.S.F.) Railway met with La Crosse city officials on Wednesday to discuss the possibility of adding a second railroad track in La Crosse.
B.N.S.F. Railway is in the process of applying for permits from the city and Wisconsin D.N.R. for a nearly four mile rail expansion. The proposed track would stretch from Central High School through Forest Hills Golf Course toward Logan High School.
Many residents have expressed concern about the safety of sending oil via train, speed limits, quiet zones and potential decreases in property values.
To address safety concerns, B.N.S.F Railway has offered to pay for emergency training, an extra hazmat car, and future on-going training for local emergency officials.
“We have a bottleneck here of single track, so this planned project would help with efficiency to move trains through the area and improve the fluidity of our network,” B.N.S.F. Railway spokesperson Amy McBeth said.
McBeth said if B.N.S.F. gets through the permit process in a timely manner, a possible railway project could begin later this year and carry over into 2015.
City Mayor Tim Kabat said today’s meeting with B.N.S.F. Railway was “very good progress” and overall, very productive conversation.
Kabat said the city will continue to look at possible changes to places such as Forest Hills Golf Course which could be affected by the possible railway project.
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