Trains shouldn't interfere with re-enactment

September 08, 1997


Staff Writer

Norfolk Southern Corp. officials will try to schedule trains to avoid having them run through the Artz farm property during the three Battle of Antietam re-enactment scenarios this weekend, according to a railroad spokeswoman.

Organizers of the Battle of Antietam 135th anniversary event - set for Friday, Saturday and Sunday on the Rench Road farm - provided a schedule of activities that railroad officials will use as a guideline, spokeswoman Susan Terpay said in a telephone interview from her Roanoke, Va., office.

"We can't promise. But we're going to try to work with them as much as possible," Terpay said.

The Norfolk, Va.-based company averages a dozen freight trains traveling through the property on a daily basis, she said.

Unlike passenger trains, they don't run on a fixed schedule but rather go out to meet customers' needs, Terpay said.

Those trains will continue to operate during the event, she said.


However, the company is taking several steps to prevent problems, Terpay said.

Trains will be on a "slow order" to decrease speed as they pass through the area, she said.

Three Norfolk Southern police officers will be on hand throughout the event to make sure pedestrians cross the tracks at Rench Road - which has a lighted, gateless crossing - and that no people or vehicles "trespass" on other parts of the railroad track, Terpay said.

The railroad has really gone out of its way to help event organizers, said event coordinator Greg Larsen.

Larsen said organizers are breathing easier knowing railroad police will be watching the tracks.

The fact that they're making the effort to avoid running trains during battle re-enactments is heartening, he said.

"Those are the moments we've been working toward all these months," Larsen said.

He said The Cornfield scenario will be particularly vulnerable to the authenticity glitch because it will be closest to the train tracks.

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