Blocked RR Crossings Cause Concerns

Residents and motorists on the north side of Warsaw are becoming frustrated with what they perceive to be unnecessary stops by trains that block the crossing for hours.

Norfolk-Southern Railroad owns the north-south tracks through Warsaw. On Friday, Stacey Page Online received an email from a resident near Whispering Pines Mobile Home Park on Levi Lee Road asking why a slow-moving train stopped, but not far enough to clear the crossing. That particular train blocked both the Levi Lee and CR 350 North crossings for over an hour.

On Saturday, a number of residents of The Dells said the CR 350 North crossing was also blocked by a stopped train for two hours, and the pattern repeated on Sunday for over an hour.

Tired of phoning Norfolk-Southern and getting no response, Stacey Page Online was asked to look into the problem. Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer said he has been contacted before about similar incidents, but was not aware of the recent complaints.

Thallemer called his railroad contact Tuesday and, this morning, received the following explanation: “I spoke with Derek J. Sublette, manager of Government Relations,” Thallemer said. “He said there is no work being done in that area but there were two separate emergencies that required them to stop the trains and they were both in the same area.”

Sublette told the mayor brake problems or other mechanical failures requires the engineer to stop the train. “He said it was two times but there shouldn’t be any other reason to stop, so hopefully it won’t happen again,” added Thallemer.

For now, residents in the CR 350 North and Levi Lee Road area can only hope the trains will no longer block the crossings for what they see as unreasonable periods of time. One resident of The Dells said, “I’m not expecting much, but if we can get some answers from someone, that might calm (people) within my addition down a bit.”

  • Brian Poe

    I live on 350 North and can promise that trains have blocked that road many more times than just two. One Sunday afternoon it was blocked by a stopped train for 3+ hours. Seems odd for trains to repeatedly have “mechanical issues” in the exact same location.

  • Rochelle

    We moved close to the intersection in question in October. It has happened other times. Judging from our neighbors tell us this is a common practice. Mechanical breakdowns would explain why there isn’t a set time of day this occurance happens. It doesn’t, however, really offer an answer as to why it happens so frequently and in the same spot each time.

  • Realistic

    If the frequency and duration of the stopped trains is that common, then common sense should tell us that something else besides “mechanical failures” might be going on. It seems highly unlikely for this to happen in the same area reapeatedly.