Marianna- Trains can be one of the safest forms of transportation- unless of course, something goes wrong. Derailments can be catastrophic and many nearby towns have experienced the disaster first hand.
"Anytime you deal with tracks, it's just like any road- you have things go over it, and over it, and over it and it wears things down. It's not meant to last forever" Jackson County Emergency Management Director, Rodney Andreasen said.
To minimize the risk of accidents and keep everything on 'track,' CSX will begin a major crosstie replacement project March 4 around Gulf Power Road in Sneads, and continue working west through parts of Jackson, Washington and Holmes Counties.
Andreasen said he thought CSX had always been good about maintaining the tracks. From something as precious as a person, to as dangerous as Sulfur Dioxide, trains have hauled it all. Andreasen said and the scheduled work was imperative to public safety.
"We have everything from anhydrous ammonia to chlorine to sulfur dioxide. You name it, it rolls through our town"
And he was no stranger to the devastation derailments have caused in the county.
"We've had several since I've been on the job. We had several before I came on the job. Last one was approximately a year ago. We had a train derailment over in the in the Grand Ridge- Sneads area, and that's where we've had a lot of them over there. No reason why- we don't know. But it just seems to happen at that location" Andreasen said.
Each stretch of track was estimated to take three days to fix. The job has been slated to last several weeks, with an end date set roughly around the beginning of May. Detours will be set up to minimize traffic delays, which will likely occur at many of the 100 crossing sites scheduled for maintenance.