Homeowner sues railroad company over new rail yard construction

Written by Bill Wilson, Editor-in-Chief
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NS & CSX trains collide in Augusta, Ga.

A historic home on a Navy base in North Charleston, S.C., is in the middle of a battle between a homeowner and a shortline railroad company.

Mike Turner bought the home, which was built in 1942 and served as office quarters before the base closed in 1996, back in 2012. He claims it was purchased before plans for a new rail route was finalized. Palmetto Railways is now constructing track about 125 ft from his house, which has led to a lawsuit filed by Turner. Turner wants the railroad to compensate him for financial damages. He believes the rail is causing his property value to drop.

The new track is located between Turner’s home and a hospital and is part of a $300 million yard that will handle cargo containers from the Port of Charleston. The containers will be transferred to either trucks or rail cars. Norfolk Southern and CSX will both use the new rail yard, and trains could be as long as 3 miles.

Turner has been leasing the home for the past three years, but claims to have spent $250,000 improving the site. Turner also claims Palmetto Railways built a gravel road on an adjacent piece of land Turner purchased. With Avenue F closed to through traffic, the gravel road serves as the only vehicle access. Turner says the railroad company told him his option on the strip of land had expired.

Read more articles on shortline railroads.

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