PITTSBURGH — Norfolk Southern and groups representing residents of Pittsburgh’s North Side will go to a mediator to address concerns about the railroad’s plans to upgrade a route to handle double-stack container trains.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that an attorney representing the Northside Leadership Conference says that he and the railroad are choosing a mediator to help address the neighborhood’s issue over the plan.
The railroad would use a $20 million grant from Pennsylvania’s Department of Transportation to raise the height of two bridges, lower the roadbed at another, and replace a fourth. The railroad would contribute $8.2 million to the project, which would provide a second, shorter path for container trains through the Pittsburgh area. Neighbors, however, are concerned about noise and pollution resulting from the resulting increase in trains, which could double from 20 to 25 per day to 40 to 50, as well as the type of cargo the trains would carry.
A Pennsylvania court has agreed to hear arguments on the dispute, but the hearings have been delayed at least 90 days to allow the mediation.
A railroad official declined to comment on whether Norfolk Southern has agreed to the mediation, saying only that it is “continuing to work through the approval process.”