Lindale train viewing platform

The Lindale train-viewing platform is just about complete at First Street and Maple Road for “railfans” from around the region. Floyd County officials hope to have a ribbon-cutting ceremony the morning of the annual Lindale Christmas Parade on Dec. 7.

Floyd County is giving residents the red carpet treatment so to speak, to try to prevent further injuries at the bottom of the marble steps of the county’s 127-year-old Historic Courthouse.

“Those steps have been a problem with people missing the landing,” Floyd County Facilities Manager Ryan Davis said Wednesday during the Public Works Department meeting. “We tried reflective strips and adding other rugs, but still struggled with people not seeing the landing.”

After discussing the issue with an insurance claims adviser, Davis said they came up with the solution of adding the large red carpet on the landing of the building housing the tax office at 4 Government Plaza.

“It’s going to really get people’s attention,” he said. “You cannot miss it.”

The Lindale community will have its own can’t miss project with the new train-viewing station for fans of watching trains. It’s only missing landscaping and a wheelchair ramp at this point.

The viewing platform near the tracks at First Street and Maple Road has been in the works since spring and has been a cooperative effort among multiple entities — including the Floyd County Prison, which supplied inmate labor for at least 90% of the physical construction.

“I felt like this is a fantastic example of how well county departments work together,” Davis said, explaining that engineering, public works, parks and rec, and facilities staff made the project happen. “It was very impressive how it all worked.”

In addition, the owner of the Lindale Mill, Joe Silva, donated bricks for the platform that will allow train watchers a place to watch Norfolk Southern trains and be able to listen to conductors through a special scanner mounted inside the structure.

An extension of the Silver Creek Trail will run along an abandoned rail line from the Floyd County Health Department in Rome to the rail viewing site. The 2017 special purpose, local option sales tax package contains a $1.18 million earmark for the project, although it will likely be several years before work starts on the trail.

County Manager Jamie McCord said he’d like the county to consider having a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the viewing platform the morning of Dec. 7 since the Lindale Christmas Parade is already scheduled for 3 p.m. that day.

“It would give it a lot of exposure,” McCord said. “It’s a really neat project. It turned out better than I expected.”

It’s unlikely Silver Creek residents often blocked by a stopped Norfolk Southern train at Hall Road will be clamoring to do any additional train-viewing.

The county has been trying to find solutions to the situation that prevents those in seven homes from being able to exit or enter their properties on the dead-end road.

Special Projects Manager Bruce Ivey came up with a plan to build an emergency bypass on some old railroad right of way, but they’re having trouble getting access to some private property owned by one of the residents.

McCord said the family that would lose its home to the project is going to discuss the issue during the Thanksgiving holiday and let the county know of its decision.

“There’s really no easy answer for this one,” he said.

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