Neighborhood upset train continuously blocks only entrance
MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Ala. (WSFA) - A rural neighborhood living on the opposite side of a railroad track in Montgomery County says a train has been blocking the only entrance into and out of their neighborhood for years.
“It’s been a problem for 27 years. Ever since I moved from Montgomery,” said resident Veronica Rogers.
Residents say around 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. every day the train stops on its tracks at the intersection of Alexander Road and Ashley Road, not letting anyone on the other side.
“It can stop for two to three hours,” said resident Shanteria Langford. “I remember one time when me and my sister came back from doing homework, we was at the train till 1 [o’clock] in the morning.”
“It’s horrible. I don’t know why they do it, but it’s horrible,” said Rogers. “Something needs to be done about it.”
Unable to cross, neighbors say they fear for their loved ones who are unable to get to doctor’s appointments.
“One time it stayed on the track eight hours,” said Rogers. “If you get sick, the ambulance can’t come get you, you just going to die. My father is 93 years old. He’s old. He may die because he can’t get over the track to the hospital.”
“My grandfather has Alzheimer’s, he has Parkinson’s disease,” said Langford. “It’s jeopardizing his life.”
“One time my brother couldn’t even go to dialysis because they had blocked the track,” said another resident. “He had to call dialysis and tell them he was going to be late.”
They said children are also missing the school bus, and family members have missed work because of the issue.
“The train will stop at 6 [o’clock] in the morning,” said Langford. “My mom has to go to work early in the morning and be there around 5 [o’clock]. She had to call out because the train stopped her from going into work.”
Complaints have been made to the CSX Corporation, the owners of the railroad and train, but neighbors say the problem continues.
“When you make a complaint, somebody calling them, but still they come back the next day and do the same thing,” said one resident.
“They say the train gone move in 30 minutes, you’ll be there two hours and it won’t move,” said Rogers. “They just take advantage of us down here across this track.”
I reached out to CXS Corporation for comment and Cindy Schild, media relations and public affairs for CSX, sent the following statement:
“CSX strives to be a good neighbor to communities where we operate, and we work hard to minimize the impact of our operations. CSX trains at the Alexander Road /Ashley Road crossing are serving a local business. We strive to do that safely and efficiently, and must perform federally mandated brake tests in order to load and unload train cars at this facility which can block the crossing. A recent change in our operating plan to serve this particular customer is expected to significantly improve the situation at this crossing.”
The crossing falls just outside of the city of Montgomery and Pike Road’s police jurisdiction.
District 5 Montgomery County Commissioner Doug Singleton said the intersection does fall in his district and that he will work to fix the issue.
“This is the first complaint I’ve heard just coming from WSFA,” said Singleton. “I hadn’t heard anything from anybody that lives out in the district. This is new to me and I wanted to come out today and investigate and see if we can do something to help the people out here.”
Singleton said he plans to reach out to CSX.
“It is a CSX issue. It’s not a county issue. But they are located in the county of Montgomery so we will address it and see,” said Singleton. “Especially if the train is stopping on the tracks and blocking the road, because of emergencies.”
Until the problem gets resolved neighbors will have to live with the inconvenience.
“They move when they wanna move,” said one resident. “They are not looking out for the people’s welfare down here. They are jeopardizing people’s life by stopping the train right there in the way where we can’t cross over.”
“We [are] just tired of it. I’m tired of it,” Rogers said.
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