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Don't count on CSX for help in landslide's aftermath [Letter]

As a resident of the Relay/St. Denis community in Halethorpe and a member of the Relay Improvement Association, I was interested to read your recent article about the CSX railroad and the destruction on Charles Village's 26th Street ("Deluge causes landslide in Charles Village, floods roadways across state," May 1).

If the residents of 26th Street or the citizens of Baltimore expect anything from the CSX Corporation, they are wasting their time. We have been fighting this railroad for nearly 25 years while the Thomas Viaduct across the Patapsco River continues to deteriorate. After many letters and several meetings with representatives of the CSX Corporation over the years, the answer is always no. The company only cares about how much freight it can haul.

The viaduct, which is a National Historic Monument, is slowly deteriorating. Stone has fallen, the railings are gone and the structure is a mess. At my last meeting with CSX officials, during which I was accompanied by several local legislators, the CSX Corporation denied any responsibility for the viaduct. They want public funds to restore this historic bridge.

Incidentally, when CSX CEO John Snow retired from the company to become U.S. secretary of the treasury in 2003, he received a $60 million severance from the company. Wouldn't that sum of money have gone a long way toward helping the residents of 26th Street?

Alan J. DeSa, St. Denis

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