JerseyJim passes along an interesting Wall Street Journal yarn about idled boxcars sitting dormant on tracks around the country, as cargo demand decreases. “Miles of Idled Boxcars Leave Towns Singing the Freight-Train Blues,” goes the title, and the story tells the tale of lonely New Castle, Indiana, where graffiti-covered train cars have occupied a mile-long stretch through town for over a year.
Rail cars — 20-foot-tall yellow behemoths covered with the sort of spray-painted artwork once associated with New York City subway cars — started rolling in by the dozens and grinding to a halt.
Now an elementary-school playground sits only feet from a line of rail cars covered with curse words. Someone with a paintball gun opened fire on one of the cars but missed, pelting a house instead. The looming cars have been blamed for casting shadows over homes that sit as close as 10 feet from the tracks. One woman says the lack of sunlight has turned her backyard into a mud pit.
What’s funny is the F-you attitude of one rail executive named Spencer Wendelin, who seems to have zero sympathy for the people with giant boxcars 10 feet from their homes.
“The railroad, I’ll guarantee you, was there a long time before they bought their houses,” he says.
Lest you think New Castle, Indiana residents are flyover-state rubes, local residents have put together a YouTube video depicting what it’s like to live with the giant boxcars in their community.