Natchez Railway decides to close private crossings - - Jackson, MS

Natchez Railway decides to close private crossings

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FRANKLIN COUNTY, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The owners of a recently rehabilitated railroad, between Natchez and Brookhaven, are threatening to close every railroad crossing that is not a designated street. It has property owners along the tracks very upset.

Signs have suddenly appeared at the crossings where the Natchez Railway runs through property with private crossings. The signs say "this crossing will be taken out of service by the Natchez Railway llc, effective April 23, 2013.  

It gives a number for more information, which gives you an answering machine.  

Some people have been  told they will have to pay the railroad for the crossing and buy insurance on it, like Brent Calcote, whose property is split by the railroad.

"You can't pick up a $150,000 house and move it above the tracks, because somebody says now you can't cross it," said Calcote. "We aren't asking for any money from the railroad, we just want to use the crossings that have been here for a hundred years."

Dan Byrd lives in McCall's Creek. He doesn't own property near the railroad but a lot of his friends do.

"I think it's ridiculous," said McCall. "It's just another thing that the public has got to fight."

Jane Kent owns a home about a half a mile south of the railroad tracks, along Highway 84 in Franklin County

"It's the only access I have," said Kent. "And without that I can't get across the railroad track. I have to walk in a quarter mile, to my home."

The Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Transportation, Linda McGrath, has told us she has ordered the question of whether the railroad can do what it is proposing to do, researched and will  have an answer, soon.

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