Negotiations spurred by House Republican Whip Steve Scalise have resulted in a new agreement between Norfolk Southern and Union Pacific railroads over the safety issue of trains blocking intersections on roadways in Old Metairie.
A release from Louisiana Republican states the two railroads that will move a crew exchange point from residential areas back to a previously location at the I-10 railroad bridge near Metairie Cemetery.
Issues with trains tying up Old Metairie crossings which resulted in ambulances and emergency vehicles having to take alternate routes to get around them had plagued the community since April when a former agreement expired.
“This agreement addresses the concerns I recently raised to the top executives at Union Pacific and Norfolk Southern regarding trains blocking intersections along multiple roadways in Jefferson Parish for hours at a time. ," said Scalise. "The agreement also addresses the safety concerns I brought to the railroads from the community, first responders, and local leaders.”
Scalise thanked Amy Begeman, chair of the Surface Transportation Board for directly engaging with the railroads to get the deal done.
He also said, “I want to thank Jefferson Parish Council Members Scott Walker and Jennifer Van Vrancken, and Senator Cameron Henry, for their involvement in helping me resolve this problem that will improve safety for thousands of families in Jefferson Parish.”
Trains should start using the bridge location for crew changes effective immediately.