FROM STAFF REPORTS
BURNET — Representatives of Austin Western Railroad will address the Burnet County Commissioners Court on July 24 regarding protocols they have enacted to avoid extensive wait times at crossings, which, in one case, resulted in a delayed emergency response to a heart attack victim.
Railroad company representatives are scheduled to attend the court’s regular meeting, which begins at 9 a.m. that day in the Burnet County Courthouse, 220 S. Pierce St.
Austin Western Railroad, a subsidiary of the Kansas-based WATCO Companies, is the private entity tasked with managing the rail cars on the line.
During the first two weeks in July, motorists reported multiple delays caused by freight cars halted on train tracks at public railroad crossings on County Roads 120, 121, and 123 in the Fairland Road and Tobyville subdivisions as well as U.S. 281 between Burnet and Marble Falls.
Along with motorists being delayed for work and appointments and blocked from residential subdivisions, at least one incident temporarily blocked an ambulance from responding to a heart attack victim in the Tobyville area.
Several quarries and rock crushing operations are also located in that part of Burnet County, which results in limited public roadway access in multiple subdivisions in the area.
County officials, who consider the delays a public safety threat, invited the railroad officials to the meeting to address the complaints and offer solutions to avoid extensive delays.