Slight drop in blocked rail crossings reported

Larry Limpf

While there has been a reduction in the number of blocked rail crossings in Lake Township in recent weeks, it hasn’t been a significant drop and residents are still reporting blockages, Mark Hummer, police chief, said last week.
“I would have to say it’s been a little bit better but not consistently so. We haven’t seen a huge change. People are getting frustrated with us but there isn’t a lot we can do at the township level,” the chief said.
A record of the blocked crossings by Norfolk Southern trains in the township has been forwarded to the office of Congressman Bob Latta. The chief said he submitted the information to Latta’s office on Sept. 7.
It included blockage incident numbers compiled by a resident who lives near the crossing on Walbridge Road as well as dispatch records for emergency vehicles that get blocked at crossings while responding to calls.
The chief said a train was blocking Lemoyne Road traffic during the mid-afternoon of Sept. 14. And a photographer from The Press encountered a stopped train at the Walbridge Road crossing on Sept. 3 while en route to the Village of Walbridge. The same crossing and the Pemberville Road crossing were blocked early in the evening of Sept. 8.
Stopped trains have simultaneously blocked crossings at Walbridge, Lemoyne, Bradner, Pemberville, Millbury, Fostoria, Mathews and Ayers roads.
Drew Griffin, a spokesman for Rep. Latta, said the congressman has had “good conversations” with the rail company.
“The economy has done better the past few years and there has been more rail traffic. The Toledo area has been a back-up location for when Chicago gets backed up. We have talked with Norfolk Southern and they have apologized and are going to try to work to insure there are fewer blockages in Lake Township. At least try to keep some of the main arteries cleared,” he said.
An email message for comment left with the Norfolk Southern media relations office wasn’t returned.


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