HomeLocal NewsSacramento residents raise alarm over homeless camp's proximity to railroad tracks

Sacramento residents raise alarm over homeless camp’s proximity to railroad tracks

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Sacramento, CA – People living in the Land Park and midtown sections of Sacramento are expressing worries about the safety risks posed by a homeless camp located very close to the railroad tracks owned by Union Pacific Railroad Company. The situation has escalated to the point where train conductors have had to stop trains and ask the homeless to move away from the tracks.

In recent weeks, residents have noticed an increase in noise from the passing freight trains. Previously, the noise went largely unnoticed. However, the proximity of the encampment to the tracks means trains now have to slow down, use their horns more frequently, or even stop completely to avoid accidents.

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“Someone hops off with a flag and walks by to ensure the unhoused people’s safety, basically. Can’t have a train zooming by at normal speed with people 5 feet off the track,” said concerned resident David Philipp.

The noise from the Union Pacific trains is particularly intense near the intersection of W and 20th streets in the Land Park area. Trains there must sound their horns louder and come to a screeching halt to ensure they don’t hit any of the homeless individuals living dangerously close to the tracks.

“Every time the train has to stop, it’s blocking W, X and Broadway, and all the traffic that’s trying to traverse those routes,” said nearby resident and Land Park community advocate Stephanie Duncan. “And they’re being held up. The trains are idling. People are needing to get to where they need to go.”

“It stops ambulances. It stops fire engines. It stops police cars,” Philipp said.

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The noise issues extend beyond just the loud train horns. Residents also mention the sound of train cars clanking together when the freight trains are forced to stop abruptly. This creates a loud and disruptive noise, especially in the middle of the night.

“I put in 311 complaints. Several of us did. That’s what we’re told in Sacramento is put in 311 complaints and we’ll solve it. But I haven’t even got a call back,” Philipp said.

Union Pacific stated that they were not aware of any encampments in that specific area. However, the City of Sacramento has acknowledged the issue and is collaborating with Union Pacific and Sacramento Regional Transit to ensure public safety and address the concerns.

“We just want to get back to normal. Let the trains flow. Let the traffic flow. Get people to a safe place,” Duncan said.

Read also: Several streets to be closed in Sacramento during the weekend

Residents in the neighborhood want to clarify that their concerns are about safety and are not directed against the homeless population.

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