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Residents say idling trains shake homes, crumble foundations

Posted at 5:09 PM, Feb 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-07 09:08:52-05

CARTHAGE, Ohio — Imagine sitting at home, watching television, relaxing after a long day of work. Or lying in bed trying to get some much-needed sleep. Now, imagine your home begins to tremble, your television connection cuts out, your bed begins to shake and photos on the walls rattle loudly.

This is the reality facing some residents in Carthage twice a day, every day.

According to residents in a neighborhood near the train tracks, trains stop near their homes to idle every day from 4 a.m. to 8 a.m. and again from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.

"The train is shaking my house so much that the mortar is coming out from between the bricks," said Scottie Williams, a resident living across the road from the tracks.

The houses on Rosewood Street are just a stone's throw away from the train tracks shaking their homes.

Residents say the main issue isn't the proximity of their homes to the tracks. "I love trains," said Williams, who has collected model trains for more than a decade.

The real problem is the idling, causing constant disruption and making it difficult on neighbors to get a good night's sleep, or relax. The trains simply sit in place for hours, rattling the homes and make living a normal life tough.

"They'll pull a train up here and it'll just sit here and idle," said Williams. "A great, big diesel."

Nearby, Beth Dean's home near the tracks can't sustain a television signal while the trains idle.

"It either glitches out or blacks out until the whole train goes by," she said. "I have a china hutch in here, and every time the train goes by you can hear the dishes rattle."

Norfolk Southern and CSX both use those tracks. In a statement, CSX encouraged residents to report their concerns, and said the company "strives to be a good neighbor and works hard to minimize the impact of its operations." Norfolk Southern has not responded to a request for comments.