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Trains could cause nightmare traffic to get worse

4 years 7 months 1 week ago Friday, September 12 2014 Sep 12, 2014 September 12, 2014 10:30 PM September 12, 2014 in News
Source: WBRZ
By: Ryan Naquin

BRUSLY - A flood of trains in West Baton Rouge Parish might make some drivers' nightmare traffic commute even worse.

"It's going to get worse before it gets better," Parish President "Pee Wee" Berthelot said.

Berthelot spoke with Union Pacific Railroad officials about more trains carrying potentially explosive Bakken oil riding the rails near LA 1.  The increase happened because other train routes were shutdown to make upgrades to the rail system.

Trains roll through the parish and start backing up traffic because drivers cannot turn and cross over the tracks, Berthelot said.

"The railroad trains come so slow, about five to six mph, and they are about a mile-and-a-half to one point-seven-tenths of a mile long," Berthelot said.  "It takes them some time, close to fifteen minutes, just to clear a crossing."

"I know there is a lot of railroads and a lot of trains that pass through Plaquemine but I think they are starting to route out this way," Addis resident Wyona Bernard said.

The line was hardly used before a few months ago, Bernard said.

To get ready for the increase of rail cars, crews have been working to make the tracks more level and replace old, worn rail ties.

Also adding to the traffic mess that is expected is the Greater Baton Rouge Port expansion, which means more trains and more traffic on LA 1.

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