Trains to roll soon to 1st Urban Fiber

January 17, 1997


Staff Writer

Hagerstown motorists and pedestrians are being warned to exercise caution near railroad tracks at night as 1st Urban Fiber prepares to begin regular use of the tracks.

Trains will start using the crossings to make deliveries and pickups at the paper recycling plant as early as Wednesday or as late as the following week, said Bruce Hynes, 1st Urban's president and general manager.

Hynes said there would be no more than one train a night.

Signs warning pedestrians and drivers of the increased train traffic will be unveiled near the crossings before 1st Urban starts using the tracks, said Assistant City Engineer Rodney Tissue.


Trains will arrive and depart the plant at the corner of Eastern and Memorial boulevards between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m.

Up to six train cars would be dropped off or picked up at the plant at one time, Hynes said.

Trains cannot take longer than 10 minutes at each crossing, according to the city.

At first, train cars may arrive and stay for a few days as employees practice loading and unloading, Hynes said. Once the company is ready to use the trains regularly, they might arrive and depart three to four times a week, he said.

Officials at 1st Urban had announced the tracks would start being used last September, but ran into delays because some tracks needed repairs.

The track between the Eastern Boulevard and Frederick Street railroad crossings was completely rebuilt, Hynes said.

Railroad crossing signals have been installed at both crossings, Hynes said.

The Maryland State Highway Administration plans to install a railroad crossing signal at Wilson Boulevard in the summer of 1998, Tissue said.

Hynes said it is up to CSX officials to decide whether a horn will sound when the trains approach a crossing in the city.

"We don't blow for other crossings in Hagerstown now," said CSX Roadmaster Randy Daniels. Daniels said he wasn't sure whether a horn would be sounded for 1st Urban's trains.

While federal law requires trains to blow their horns as they approach crossings, Daniels said CSX officials have interpreted a Hagerstown statute as stating trains don't have to sound horns.

The Maryland State Highway Administration official who handles train crossing issues was not available Friday for comment.

The crossings that will see more train activity at night are:

The Roxbury Line

  • Walnut Street near Park Circle.
  • Virginia Avenue near Park Circle.
  • Summit Avenue near Park Circle.
  • Garlinger Avenue near Spruce Street.
  • South Potomac Street near Howard Street.
  • Wilson Boulevard near The Lumber Yard.

The Security Branch

  • Eastern Boulevard by 1st Urban Fiber.
  • Frederick Street near Potterfield Pool.
  • First Street near Statton Furniture.
  • Oak Street near Wilson Boulevard.
  • Wilson Boulevard near Oak Street.
  • Kuhn Avenue south of Wilson Boulevard.
  • Rose Hill Avenue south of Wilson Boulevard.
The Herald-Mail Articles