Pritchett Residents Angry On Rail Repairs - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

6/5/05-Longview

Pritchett Residents Angry On Rail Repairs

Some Upshur county residents angry at the railroads and afraid that another derailment will happen in their area. People in the small community of Pritchett are nervous. Nervous after two trains derailed within 48 hours of each other, and the tracks are still not repaired properly.

"Its the number one topic of conversation around here over the last couple of weeks, its just a matter of time before we end up with the same thing again and the next time we might not be so lucky" says area resident Mike Files.

It was May 11th that 21 cars derailed near highway 155 near f-m 1404 in Pritchett, with cars crashing into trees. Two days later a second train derailed in the same spot. Reasons that residents are worried is that ties a spikes were loosely repaired, and can be pulled out by hand. Not just a couple but hundreds of them, all down the tracks and homeowners like Darrin Watkins, who has lived in the area since childhood, are angry at the railroad for doing sloppy work, that could cost someones life.

"Our laws and government say were supposed to be protected, and it looks like they're not even trying, i live maybe 100 yards from the track and to know that coming down these tracks carrying hazmat who knows what , i don't want to wake up and find one in my yard" says Watkins.

They estimate 16 trains a day come through Pritchett, and some are considering moving because of fear of another derailment.

"What they are doing is very poorly done" Files says.

"Is it more important to run this freight? or human life?" says Watkins.

Bob Hallmark reporting.  bhallmark@kltv.com

 

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