Claremore Trying To Address Train Congestion, Safety

Tuesday, September 4th 2018, 6:18 pm
By: News On 6

The City of Claremore has a plan to address its problem with train congestion.

But one Rogers County woman says the solution is coming too late for her brother.

The Claremore city manager says up to 40 trains can go through Claremore in a day.

Shanteyl Brashar says one of those trains killed her brother in 2012 and she’s still waiting for her hometown to make a change.

“It doesn’t matter if you don’t see a train.  It’s a matter of seconds.  A train can show up and they can’t stop like you think they can,” she said.

Brashar’s fiancé was there that night in 2012.

“We thought he beat it and it turns out he didn’t,” said Joseph Boss.

Brashar says “for the longest time, none of us could stand to go down that street.”

She says she’s always wondered if things could’ve been different.

“If we had something where people could cross safely, maybe it wouldn’t have happened,” said Brashar.

Some people say they’re concerned about train delays and emergency personnel needing to get to the other side of town, but City Manage Jim Thomas says the issue isn’t black and white.

“It’s a complicated issue,” said Thomas.  “If you throw enough money at it, we can solve the problem.  The challenge is, who’s going to pay for it?”

He says there have been several proposals for overpasses in the past, but residents don’t want to pay.

“If the residents of Claremore want to ante up 30 to 35 million dollars for an overpass, we can get it built,” he said.

Thomas says one overpass will be built south of town in 2021 – fully funded by state and federal funds.

It won’t fix the issue entirely, but Thomas says the railroads aren’t going anywhere and people need to be patient.