GREENCASTLE -- CSX Railroad officials confirmed Wednesday an agreement to push back the speed limit increase in the city to as late as Oct. 1.
At a public meeting Tuesday evening, city officials expressed concern over taking proper safety precautions for the increase in speed limit from 10 to 25 mph.
Ken Gilsdorf, with CSX Community Affairs and Safety, told the Banner Graphic the company has no problem with delaying the speed increase.
"We got together last night and we talked with John Kass from Buzzi and he said that he had no difficulties with us if we decided to forgo it for a little while until the city had their two meetings and could get the stop signs installed," said Gilsdorf.
City Councilors and Mayor Sue Murray were unhappy with Tuesday's news that the increase could take effect in as soon as two weeks. City officials would like to have time to put stop signs up at the crossings that do not have signals. However, the city council will need to meet twice to get such an ordinance passed.
"We had no difficulties with that," said Gilsdorf. "We've been working on this for over a year now, so what's another six weeks? If the town thinks it's safe to put stop signs up at the street crossings where there's no warning devices (we're fine with that.)"
At this point, the council has a special meeting set for 4 p.m. Aug. 25 to discuss the 2010 budget. They may also have a first reading on ordinances for the stop signs at these crossings.
If the first reading is passed on Aug. 25, council would be able to sign the ordinances into law at their Sept. 9 meeting.
One point also discussed at Tuesday's meeting was that, although the speed limit will increase to 25 mph, most of these trains would not be reaching that speed. Coming into town southbound toward Buzzi Unicem, the trains will already be slowing down to make the stop at the cement plant.
Northbound trains will be loaded with cement and attempting to accelerate uphill, so reaching 25 mph will be impossible in most cases.
The city will also continue to explore its options regarding how its 10 crossings will be handled with the increased speed.