For the past 3 years, CCRA’s Government Relations Committee, particularly Harvey Sacks (CCRA VP of Government Relations) and Matthew Fontana (CCRA Executive Vice President), has been working diligently to stop the protracted idling of CSX trains that block resident access to the Schuylkill River Trail at Locust Street, disturb the use and enjoyment of property for those living in and near the tracks, cause excessive fumes and noise (especially at night), and can cause possible delays in police and other emergency personnel’s reaction time to critical events that occur in and around the trail. The majority of the time, the idling is due to crew changes.
The City has an agreement with CSX that may require CSX to idle the trains further north of the most densely populated areas of Philly, in Belmont Plateau. The City's Legal Department and Office of Transportation and Infrastructure Systems (OTIS) have been willing to work with us to resolve this dilemma and have opened up a line of communications between them and CSX’s legal department.
We have met with a myriad of for and not-for profit entities that also boarder the trail and all are passionate to resolve this issue.
We have been joined in this effort by Logan Square Neighborhood Association, as they have the same issues as relates to Race Street access. Whenever the trains idle, both Race and Locust Streets access points are simultaneously blocked.
After having the City perform a noise study for us and approaching a number of federal agencies that regulate the railroad industry, we have recently approached US Senator Casey and have formally requested he meet with the new CSX president to help find a resolution to the idiling trains. Senator Toomey has also been helpful in prior communication with certain federal agencies.
We will keep you apprised. If you have any information to report or would like to know more please reach out to the CCRA and we will connect you with Harvey or Matt.