Amtrak officials frustrated over sinkhole problem - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Ben Watson

Amtrak officials frustrated over sinkhole problem

A huge sinkhole is causing huge problems for Amtrak passengers in Memphis.

Amtrak said it might discontinue service to Memphis if the sinkhole at Central Station doesn't get fixed soon. And now a fight over who is responsible for fixing it may delay the repairs.

The sinkhole developed in April in connection with an underground sewer system. Action News 5 visited the site Monday. City workers took steps to prevent any possible flooding problems, but still the trains can't roll up to the Main Street Station.

For now, passengers are bused to a location several miles away and board trains there.

Just who is supposed to fix the problem has become an expensive hot potato.

By phone from Chicago, an Amtrak spokesman claimed Memphis officials told them the repairs would be done by the middle of May and they're frustrated by the delay.  
"This cannot continue indefinitely. Something needs to be done and we certainly made that clear to the city of Memphis," Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari said. "It's city property we're merely a tenant. That's very clear. We are a tenant on city property and that city property remains un repaired."

By phone, a Memphis city spokeswoman assured me the sinkhole problem would be fixed. However, she could not provide a completion date.

She said cost estimates for the final repairs have not been determined yet.

The spokeswoman said once final costs are determined final repairs will be made. 

The Amtrak spokesman says there is no way Amtrak will let the problem continue much longer and the company is considering options on what to do next.

Click here to e-mail Ben Watson.

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