Neighbors of the West Gloucester train tracks have sought the legal counsel of a local attorney as the family believes that the engineers are idling the engines behind their home intentionally.
Heshey Sova of Lyndale Avenue has hired Joe Orlando Jr. of Orlando and Orlando Associates. Her family — along with other residents of West Gloucester — have had their lives disrupted by the noise of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority's idling trains for many months.
Sova deferred all comments to Orlando Jr.
“The Sova family has suffered significant damages to their property and their health,” Orlando Jr. wrote in an email to the Times on Monday morning. “Our investigation of the train idling issue continues and we will take appropriate legal action when that investigation has concluded.”
MBTA Deputy Administrator Jody Ray had promised the residents at an early-October site visit that the T would hire a line manager to monitor the movement of trains that come through the West Gloucester rail station at 290 Essex Ave.
That promise came after residents expressed frustration with the noise of trains idling just south of the West Gloucester rail station, where the Rockport line currently begins and ends because the MBTA continues to work on replacing the structural-deficient drawbridge that carries the commuter rail over the Annisquam River in Gloucester. Commuters are bused between West Gloucester and Rockport.
During that October site visit, Sova had spoken up about how the idling trains affected her family’s daily life.
“The idling trains are impacting my kids remote learning since they don’t have the option to return back to school,” she said while standing in a crowd of frustrated residents. “My kids don’t get to leave their house and they are stuck listening to this all the time.”
While the position of line manager has been filled by Mark Catavecia, some residents haven’t seen a huge reduction in noise.
One resident even calculated the amount of time the trains idle outside his West Gloucester home on Lyndale Avenue, estimating a total of five hours a day, 25 hours per week, and 450 hours over an 18-week period.
As the conversation between the MBTA and residents about the idling continues to be a source of contention for those who live by the tracks, the state's train authority has created a new line of communication.
A dedicated email address for submitting questions and concerns about the West Gloucester station, idling trains there and the drawbridge project to the MBTA team has been created. Those questions and concerns may be directed to GloucesterDraw@MBTA.com.
Taylor Ann Bradford can be reached at 978-675-2705 or firstname.lastname@example.org.