Train delays continue, Garden City will file complaint with the Federal Railroad Administration

GARDEN CITY, Ga. (WTOC) – Another way out. That’s what the people of Garden City are asking for again.

Trains are still stopping on the train tracks there – delaying people for hours.

“Last year, his wife had an aneurism and they had to put her in some sheets and drag her under the train,” said Peggye Edwards, who lives in Garden City.

The problem dates back at least five years and residents want answers.

“The bigger picture is just…I just never want anything to be happening at home, whether my house is on fire, someone’s breaking into my house and I can’t get there,” said Shawn Christopher, who lives in Garden City.

People who live near the tracks said their concerns aren’t being heard.

“They just don’t care about us you know…and I’m tired of it,” said Herman Washington, who lives in Garden City.

Right off Priscilla D Thomas Way, residents were stuck for three hours behind a train Sunday night and there’s no way around it.

“The third time I’ve called, the lady just told me ‘ma’am I’m just gonna tell you, there’s no one on that train’. It was just blocking the track. They just got off and left,” said Brenette Washington, who lives in Garden City.

A sign was put up a few weeks ago for people to call when a train is stopped, but residents said that’s not working.

“When I make the call to the number, I always ask the operator…put yourself in my shoes,” Christopher said.

“I hung up and called Ms. Morris and when she picked up the phone, she said [she’s] on it,” Washington said.

Councilwoman Natalyn Bates-Morris has a file full of complaints, call logs between her and residents and documentation of each time a train has stopped and for how long.

“Does someone have to lose their life before we can get something done?” said Garden City Councilwoman Natalyn Bates-Morris.

Her work to get the train issues solved started almost five years ago with an email to the railroad company (CSX) before she was even on city council.

After countless calls and emails – she said, enough is enough.

“We are indeed filing a complaint with the Federal Railroad Administration,” Councilwoman Bates-Morris said.

“And people might say, well go live somewhere else. Well, some of us inherited this land. It was passed down. When land’s passed down to you, it’s just not a thing for you to jump up and leave.” said Edwards.

Residents said they just want a way out.

“CSX needs to listen to us,” Edwards said.” They need to listen to us and do something”

The mayor of Garden City confirmed the FRA is coming out with an app soon for people to file complaints. It’s not released yet, but after a certain number of complaints, it will automatically trigger an investigation.

Residents will also have another chance to make their voices heard at a neighborhood meeting on Thursday, April 14. It will be at the Garden City Senior Building at 6 p.m.

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