Stalled trains keep breaking down, blocking off metro east subdivision

For the second time in two weeks, the train kept residents in or out of the neighborhood.

 It happened again Wednesday night: a train blocking people from getting in and out of their metro east neighborhood for hours at a time. Now, neighbors are turning to 5 On Your Side for help.

For the second time in two weeks, a train has stalled on the tracks just off Lumaghi Heights in Collinsville, blocking residents either in or out of their subdivision for hours at a time. They said they're fed up.

"It's kind of terrifying and it's sad it keeps happening," said Avery Pollard, 17, who lives in the subdivision with her parents and younger brother.

In this neighborhood the train calls the shots, and it can make or breaks your day.

"I usually don't go out at night because [I'm] kind of scared that I won't be able to come back," said Pollard.

"You never know every time you leave, if you can go back home," said Jeremy Danheiser, who has lived in the subdivision for nine years.

It's especially scary for Lindsay Serrano whose two kids were left alone and unsupervised for hours into late Wednesday night, while she waited across the tracks for this stalled train to come back to life.

"I always think about my son being stuck coming off the school bus and nobody being able to get to him. He's 12, what does he do?" said Serrano, who is also Pollard's mother.

"It was scary because the train was stuck and it was raining and storming, and we were here alone. I didn't know what i was going to do," said Pollard.

There are about 30 homes in the subdivision, and in the past months the train has blocked access to those homes for hours at least half a dozen times.

A CSX spokeswoman we spoke to told us she didn't have a reason why the train kept stalling here. But residents say when they call, sometimes they get a different answer.

"It's either overloaded, they lost power. So I'm concerned this could be something hazardous. What's preventing it from tipping over?" said Serrano.

"I have considered moving actually. we love our neighbors and neighborhood but, it's getting to the point that missing work and appointments...we can't have this rule our lives," said Danheiser.

Five On Your Side reached out to the Federal Rail Administration and they say there are no formal regulations about how long a train can be blocking an intersection.

The FRA suggested anyone experiencing this issue contact their regional office at:  312-353-6203 or Hotline: 800-724-5040.

CSX Rail sent us the following statement:

"We are aware of recent issues which have resulted in an increase of blocked crossings in the Collinsville area and are reviewing  the situation to identify potential improvements. The line is important to the entire region to balance the safe delivery of commerce, and CSX is committed to working toward limiting the impact of our operations in the area. Safety is out highest priority - for our employees, customers and the communities we serve. We encourage the public to report concerns  about blocked crossings, or any aspect of our railroad operations, to our TELLCSX system at 877-TELLCSX (1-877-835-5297) or online through www.csx.com."

The FRA also sent up this full statement:

"The Federal Railroad Administration works with railroads and local communities to find solutions when idle trains lead to blocked crossings, especially when emergency access is a concern. While there are currently no formal regulations on blocked crossings, we always encourage citizens to let our regional safety offices know when this happens. Additionally, all idle trains are required to abide by FRA safety operating procedures and remain within federal regulations—namely, not posing any safety hazard to the public, environment or train operators."


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