To those No-Hubbers who got on my case claiming that if the hub were being built in my neighborhood then my story would be different...
CSX has opened their railroad hub in Bessemer, and there is a school next to it and homes all around. Did we hear any whining from these folks? No.
No group has emerged to voice concern about what the facility will mean to students, as has happened in McCalla, where residents have objected to the Norfolk Southern's site proximity to McAdory Elementary School.
"This one had great political support locally and we certainly appreciate that." said Gary Sease, a spokesman for Jacksonville, Fla.-based CSX.
Instead, the focus of the CSX project is centering on the benefits the facility could have on the 116-acre Interstate Industrial Park and the 750,000 square feet of vacant space among the 1 million square feet of warehouses there.
"It's going to enable Alabama manufacturers to connect to the ports of Charleston, S.C., and Savannah, Ga., on the East Coast," Sease said. "We're excited about it and looking forward to building business there as the economy comes back."
While my house is not next door to the facility, I can point out where it is on this map provided by the Birmingham News. so it's close.
More than 40 trains a day roll by on the tracks going along Carolina Avenue and you don't hear complaints...well, an occasional complaint maybe when they block major roads for long periods like this Norfolk Southern train.
See the man in the blue shirt crossing the street? He just emerged from Churches Chicken ( I was parked in their lot) with his lunch and walked over to the train and climbed in. So, here are my questions.
Does the operator of this train stop for 15 or 20 minutes so he can get his lunch, blocking several major roads at the time?
If the train is stopped because it is waiting for another train to pass, as they sometimes do, could he not stop 150 feet back and not block 19th street? Could he walk half a block for his lunch?
Just wondering. This happens more frequently than you might think.
Keep reading, the Western Tribune column is next.