Opinion: Rail track upgrades a blessing for town of Middlebury

Walking out my front door, which is approximately 100 feet from the railroad tracks, on my way to the Independent with another letter concerning the lack of interest from people whose job it is to push for safe conditions in our town, I heard a noise coming from the direction of the railroad. Looking south, not standing on the tracks, I saw some equipment replacing ties and straightening others. Later a friend and I walked the distance of approximately 1/8 of a mile and I saw a 95 percent improvement in the condition of the wooden ties, with many replaced, and spikes were down in place.
This major repair by the Vermont railroad happened in spite of no effort, to my knowledge, of any official in town or any investigation by the Independent or a reporter walking the tracks, taking pictures or interviewing Vermont railroad officials or me.
My guess is (and it’s only a guess) that the two men from the railroad who spent one hour walking the tracks with me explaining technical issues to prove the railroad tracks are in compliance with the Federal Railroad Administration didn’t really convince themselves that we have a safe condition. Our meeting was on Monday. Tuesday and Wednesday the tracks were repaired using a special machine that rides on the tracks.
It’s nice to know the railroad is responsive. This comes as a great relief to me and, I’m sure, other Vermonters.
Fred Barnes

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