First quiet, then rumbling, vibration, and ear-piercing noise. You might think it is an alien invasion. But it is just another day for businesses along the train tracks in downtown Lakeland.
"It frustrates me most when I have to leave a voice mail," Robbie Sampson, a mortgage banker with the Mortgage Firm, told FOX 13 on Friday.
The scenario plays out 16 times a day. Soon, when the new CSX hub in Winter Haven is up and running, it will play out 20.
Noise isn't the only issue. A spokesman for the City of Lakeland says safety is as well. The train route cuts several of the most important north-south roads in half.
When the train is in town, ambulances, fire trucks, and police may have to go far out of their way to get to the hospital or to an accident scene.
The Florida Department of Transportation is spending several million dollars to see how trains can be re-routed around Lakeland, as well as other Polk County towns.
"We don't want to take one community's concerns and make it another community's concerns," said FDOT spokeswoman Cindy Clemmons.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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