INDIANAPOLIS -- A train stopped on the tracks and blocking traffic for more than 9 hours was a “rare situation” according to CSX, but people living on the east side of town say it’s become a common problem over the last few months.
Ashley Obando is the Director of Precious Life Day Care Ministry, which sits near the railroad tracks on Sunnyside Road just north of Pendleton Pike.
Obando says there has been an increase in the number of trains on the line near her day care and with the heavier traffic there have also been more trains stopped, which causes issues for parents picking up their children.
On Monday, the train stopped around 6 a.m., blocking several roadways nearby. It didn’t start moving again until around 3 p.m.
“It stopped last time for about 7 and a half hours,” said Obando.
Aside from the inconvenience for parents, Obando says she’s worried about the impact the train stoppages could have on police and firefighter response times in her community.
“If we need first responders, they’re having to take alternate routes,” said Obando. “They’re not able to come directly to us. They’re going to have to travel farther.”
A spokeswoman for CSX released a statement calling Monday’s delay “a rare situation.”
"We apologize to the Indianapolis community for today's delays caused by a blocked crossing. Today was a rare situation in which mechanical issues on separate trains contributed to extended delays. While CSX worked as quickly as possible to make repairs and resolve the problems, the crew reached their maximum number of shift hours allowed under federal safety regulations and a new crew was called in to take over. We understand that waiting for a train is inconvenient, and we appreciate the public's patience."
Under state law, CSX and other railroad corporations can face tickets and fines up to $500 for blocking an intersection, specifically if the train, rail care or engine blocks public travel at a railroad-highway grade crossing for more than 10 minutes.
The only exception is if the train cannot be moved due to circumstances out of the corporation’s control.
Indiana State Police issued 15 violations last year, three of them were to CSX.
State police have not released any numbers from this year’s train violations.
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