Crawfordsville Mayor Urges Social Media Prodding Of CSX

Aug 27, 2015

Soon after a CSX rail crossing was fixed earlier this month, trains again stopped there, causing traffic to snarl.
Credit Kenneth Spencer / https://www.flickr.com/photos/kendo26/5606710714

Crawfordsville’s mayor is organizing an informal social media campaign to put pressure on railroad operator CSX to pay more attention to the city.

Mayor Todd Barton, speaking Thursday on WBAA’s Ask The Mayor, encouraged Crawfordsville residents to phone CSX to complain about trains clogging intersections in the city.

But he says the idea of an angry phone call may be passé.

“These railroads are huge, they’re maybe not going to listen to our phone calls," Barton says. "But I’ve noticed they do not like bad publicity on social media. So when there are things going on and they have crossings blocked, you’ll see tweets, you’ll see those kind of things. And my observation is that tends to get their attention a little more quickly than phone calls.”

CSX spokesperson Gail Lobin says she’d prefer people make private phone calls to the railroad’s complaint line, rather than tweeting their displeasure. But she says the company does pay attention to its Twitter account.

“We have access to those things, so…And we certainly monitor them,” Lobin says.

Tweets did pop up when, shortly after CSX repaired an intersection earlier this month, a train blocked it later the same day.

Lobin blamed the delay on problems with CSX’s contractors and says the company had about a three-week period where work fell behind in some places.