NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) -Pan Am Railway workers have been living behind Northampton homes for nearly three weeks.
It has been 3 weeks from today that these trains rolled in on July 6th, and it is projected that today, they are supposed to leave, which many residents have been counting down the days for.
Residents in the area have told 22News that they were shocked when these train cars came in. No one in the city knew that these train cars were coming, or that the workers would be staying to work on the commuter rail.
“We had no notice this was going to happen. It’s been two-and-a-half weeks. And they really have not responded at all. They’ve only said that things are not going to change. They’ve made no concessions,” said Frey.
“They gotta do what they gotta do, get in and out of here to improve the system, so I don’t think it’s a bad thing. These guys are just trying to make a living too. They come up from far away to improve the system up here,” said Tom Byrnes, who said he does similar work to those on the train tracks.
Residents have been complaining about the loud noises and odors from these trains, as well as rail workers partying outside these cabins.
“This is where jurisdictions collide. It’s private property, it’s running through the city, there’s federal dollars here so it’s kind of a bureaucratic swamp to be honest that we’re trying to wade through and the end result is we didn’t wade very far,” Ryan O’Donnell told 22News.
Another home on North Street has bedrooms in the back of the house and the resident said for nearly three weeks, she’s heard the sound of not one but two generators constantly humming. She’s hopeful on Sunday they’ll move out as they’re supposed to.
They did consider moving the train down the rail a quarter mile so that it was away from homes, but city councilor Ryan O’Donnell said he was told that would interfere with tracks in use right now, so this was the only place for the train cars to go. He also told 22News that where the trains are staying is considered private property, and this is a federally funded project, so the city really has no say in trying to move them out of this area.
But today is the projected day that these cars will move out of the area.
Most residents said they’re looking forward to the end result: a more accessible commuter rail. O’Donnell told 22News the first train could run this December with one trip north and south each day