Klobuchar, Kline tackle idle trains in Lakeville
U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar and U.S. Representative John Kline (Lakeville) called on the Surface Transportation Board to press Progressive Rail to find a solution for the empty rail cars parked in Lakeville, according to a press release from Klobuchar’s office.
In a joint letter to the Board, Klobuchar and Kline wrote: “The storage of these rail cars has caused adjacent residential property owners to express concerns regarding negative effects on their homes and the general welfare of the community. We request your assistance in facilitating a resolution to this ongoing impasse.”
Progressive Rail of Lakeville began storing the empty rail cars on freight tracks in Lakeville in 2009. Owner Dave Fellon said the economic downturn led to his having to park them along tracks in neighborhoods.
The company has been under pressure from local advocacy groups, residents and city officials to find an alternative.
Sun Thisweek will have more on this story as we gather more information.
The full text of the letter is below:
July 5, 2012
The Honorable Daniel R. Elliott III
Chairman, Surface Transportation Board
395 E Street, SW
Washington, DC 20423
Dear Chairman Elliott:
As you continue your work to resolve railroad rate and service disputes, we want to bring to your attention an ongoing dispute involving a rail company, the City of Lakeville, and its residents. We request your assistance in facilitating a resolution to this ongoing impasse.
Progressive Rail – a contract rail carrier that operates nearly 80 miles of line in the Twin Cities area – has been storing inactive rail cars on the City of Lakeville’s freight railroad tracks for several years due to the continued economic downturn. The storage of these rail cars has caused adjacent residential property owners to express concerns regarding negative effects on their homes and the general welfare of the community.
City officials and local residents have repeatedly asked Progressive Rail officials to be more courteous to the community in which they operate and relocate the rail cars to a different location or limit the number of cars stored. The City of Lakeville has held a number of public meetings and ultimately passed a resolution requesting federal action to limit the storage of rail cars in or adjacent to urbanized residential areas.
Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter of critical concern to my constituents. We look forward to continuing to work with you on this important issue. For further questions or additional follow up, please contact Yelena Vaynberg with Congressman Kline at firstname.lastname@example.org or Travis Talvitie with Senator Klobuchar at email@example.com.