John Henry was a steel-driving man who beat the machine to build the railroad, but his heart burst in the effort.
The City of O’Fallon was a railroad overpass-building town that put 15 years and $6.8 million into the effort. In the end, the railroad broke their hearts, too.
The city built the $6.8 million overpass on Venita Drive so first responders could easily get to the west side of the city. It was finished a month ago.
Now they learn CSX railroad has stopped service on the tracks because market conditions have changed. The railroad spokesman said it is a temporary halt despite the cut rail and red stop sign driven into the rail bed.
O’Fallon City Administrator Walter Denton said the city had no clue from CSX that they might stop using the line, and when asked a month ago about the possibility he said it was only a rumor. Now he is putting a brave face on it: “But if it’s only temporarily, in the long run it will still be a good project.”
Maybe everyone can also look at the plus that there’s a nice view from atop the overpass — a $6.8 million view of rusting rails.