Residents In Pritchett Are Furious With The Lack of Support From Union Pacific

Union Pacific workers have been busy all day replacing the rail that was destroyed in the train derailment Tuesday. Residents in Pritchett are calling it a "temporary fix" and say they are ready for a permanent solution.

"This is not a high priority for them, and I think it needs to be a high priority for union pacific," said Sandra Click a Pritchet resident. "I'd hate for them to wait until someone gets hurt or killed to do something about it."

Residents in Pritchett are sick of waiting for Union Pacific to fix the tracks that run between Big Sandy and Gilmer.

"One of the hazardous chemicals that gets trucked up and down this railroad daily is chlorine," said Mike Files a Pritchett Resident. "Chlorine gas is fatal and it could have catastrophic effects."

Union Pacific representatives told the county yesterday they were going to replace 50,000 ties between Pittsburg and Big Sandy starting in January. Residents in Pritchett say that's not enough. They say everything needs to be. They also say January is not soon enough.

Union Pacific told Upshur County judge Dean Fowler January is the earliest the replacements can be done.

"They said that the crossties they intend to use for this project are in the curing yard, that they have just been cut and they need time to cure," said Fowler.  "They don't have any other crossties available in the country that they can move here."

Judge fowler says Union Pacific will re-route many of the hazardous chemicals going north from coming through Pritchett. Right now, Union Pacific is using another track to go through Pritchett. Trains going through there are to follow a 10 mile per hour speed limit.

Residents say they will do anything to get their voices heard. They started a petition today and have contacted congressman Louie Gohmert's office.  They also set up an e-mail account where people can voice their concerns.  That e-mail address is

Molly Reuter, reporting.