Julie Meadows’ letter to the Herald (Aug. 5) about the train “Taking not giving” is right on target. But that’s only part of the train owner’s apparent attitude toward our community.
The train pumps out carcinogenic smoke into our town every day. It creates sound pollution with its offensively loud whistle. Both are done with impunity.
The train caused the fire that smothered our community in smoke last year and for which it won’t take responsibility. People are still dealing with the aftermath of damaged homes and mud flows from the fire. The river is filled with mud. But that’s not all.
The train owner and his lawyers use their power and money to harass private property owners by taking their land or threatening to deny access to their homes unless fees are paid to the railroad for land it claims but doesn’t own. They have done so with me and my neighbors. They run roughshod over our town.
The train takes but it doesn’t even pay city taxes on its fares. I understand that some people think a few tourist dollars are more important than our health and the quiet enjoyment of our community. However, the train is only one of a dozen attractions that bring tourists to our town. Without it, tourists will still come.
Let’s put the train in a museum where it belongs and stop the devastation it causes our community.