CSX retaliates over RCO resolution

CSX Transportation is retaliating against a Tennessee County Commission for passing a remote control safety resolution earlier this year. The railroad is refusing to allow public parking on its property during the county's annual Apple Festival.

In March, the Unicoi County Commission (Tenn.) passed a resolution that urged CSX not to use remote-control switching devices in its rail yard, saying that replacing live engineers with machines was a safety issue.

In August, the Unicoi County Chamber of Commerce requested permission from CSX to allow public parking on its property for the annual Unicoi County Apple Festival.

CSX has provided the property for festival parking at no charge to the Chamber for years. This year, however, the railroad changed its tune.

"In the past, we have been happy to authorize public parking on our property for the Apple Festival, but since the County Commission has taken official actions to question the safety of our operations, we do not feel that it would be appropriate to have members of the public parking in the vicinity of those operations," said a CSX official in a letter to the County.

Members of the county commission did not show signs of changing their opposing positions on the issue.

"My vote as a commissioner was for safety, and I don't see the commission going back and changing it," County Commissioner Jimmy Erwin said. "Any time you take a person from behind the wheel (train engineers), you have more of a chance of error."

(The Erwin Record contributed to this report.)


© 2003 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers