CSX spokesoman Gary Sease says this is not true. However, CSX does have fairly imminent plans for a 10,000-foot siding, which will amount to doubletracking, just west of downtown. Here is Sease’s full statement on that, which he provided over a couple of emails in response to a request from me.
“As part of the proposed shift of additional freight traffic from the A to the S lines, we do envision a new passing siding north of downtown Lakeland. [This is actually more west than north] In essence, this would be an additional track for approximately 10,000 feet…No double tracking is planned through downtown Lakeland. The siding should help fluidity of trains passing through the city.”
Added Sease, “The proposed siding would be west of the New York Avenue crossing. You would be able to see it from the crossing looking west. We have not placed it under contract at this point.”
I don’t really have anything to add to this. It could be good news, bad news, or neutral news. I’m sort of unclear. But at least it’s the official CSX position for now, which beats rumors and scuttlebutt.