Letters to the Editor

Rail repairs can take a frighteningly long time

After reading Annie Lokrantz's letter [Jan. 16], I felt compelled to write.

I was attending a trade school in Fresno from December 1996 to June 1997. The school was on Abby Street behind Blackstone Avenue.

That winter we had a lot of rain. One day I was first in line at the railroad crossing as the arm came down. As I sat there waiting for the train to clear, I noticed that a lot of gravel under the ties was washed out. The train showed up and every time the wheels ran over the rail, it would drop about three inches.

Having worked for the Union Pacific Railroad in Las Vegas for 13 years as a locomotive fireman, I knew this was not good. After I got to school, I looked in the phone book trying to find someone to call. I finally got a hold of someone in Illinois. He told me there was no one locally to call for repairs and he would pass on the information.

Every day I went the same way to school. It took three weeks for the crossing to be repaired with more gravel put back under the ties.

Walt Van Norsdall