TALLADEGA -- Six months ago, The Daily Home reported on some of the concerns residents of Pulliam and neighboring streets had about a large pile of railroad ties on the railroad’s right of way in the middle of the street.
The ties appeared to belong to National Salvage and Service Corporation of Bloomington, Indiana.
Logistics dispatcher Logan Herendeen said in March the company was aware of the massive pile and was waiting on cars from the railroad to come get the ties. It might be a month or two, he said in March.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the pile was still there, and residents in the area were even less happy.
“The other night, I saw some young men playing on top of the pile,” Iva Barclay said. “They were picking up the ties, I don’t know what they were going to try to do with them.
“I turned my lights on them, and they went away. I’ve called Rev. (Horace) Patterson (the city councilman who represents the area), and he called (City Manager) Beth Cheeks, but they both just said there was nothing anyone could do about the railroad.”
Minister Vanessa S. Wilson both lives in the area and operates a beauty shop. She has concerns for herself and her clients due to decreased visibility and additional hiding places, both courtesy of the pile.
“I have clients leaving at night,” she said. “Not to mention, the grass is all grown up, and there’s no telling what’s living in there, could be all kinds of rodents.”
Barclay added the spaces between the ties also provided hiding places for guns, drugs and anything else one might want to try and hide.
“Amanda Bingham Park is just right up the hill there,” Barclay said. “They could hide behind that pile and just wait for the police or anyone else coming down out of the park. It’s dangerous for us, it’s dangerous for everybody.”
Wilson said the entire front view of her house is covered by the pile, which also sits across the street from Lily Hill Baptist Church.
“It’s like they’re telling us we’re nothing,” she said. “And how are you going to disrespect God’s house, too.”
Said Barclay, “They don’t care. Those railroad tracks go all the way out into the woods there. They could have put all those old ties out in the woods, and no one would ever see them. But no, they have to go put them in the middle of our neighborhood.”
Said Wilson, “We are God-fearing, law abiding people. We don’t deserve this.”
Added Barclay, “We keep our grass cut, we keep our houses painted. We want everything to look nice. Look at the grass growing around that pile. If any of us let our grass get that high, we’d get fined.
“We want to have nice homes, and they just throw this ugly mess up in our faces every morning when we get up and every night before we go to bed.”
Cheeks said Tuesday she was still aware of the situation but added the city’s hands were tied. “It’s on the railroad’s right of way, she said, “so there’s nothing we can do about it right now.”
The Daily Home was told Herendeen was no longer an employee of National Salvage and Service when the company was contacted Tuesday. Efforts to reach Chuck Morris, who apparently stepped into Herendeen’s position at some point, were unsuccessful Tuesday afternoon.
Six months ago, Herendeen explained that the pile had come from Norfolk Southern’s Riverdale Project, which involved replacing between 75 and 100 miles of track. That project was completed in November 2018, shortly before Barclay said the pile first appeared.
Although the ties belong to National Salvage, the cars to eventually carry them off have to come from Norfolk-Southern. They will eventually be loaded onto train cars and carried off to be ground up or recycled, according the Herendeen.