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.
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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.