Photo: This crash two weeks ago happened when a motorist (who was miraculously unhurt) was struck by an oncoming train he did not see because of the one stopped on the tracks. But the more common case is people trapped on one side of the tracks unable to leave or get home because they can't get around stopped trains at all.
V I E W P O I N T S
Planet reader Kathy Towns wrote in response to a news snippet today about a six-hour Memorial Day weekend rail crossing blockage at Steel Road in northern Dade County:
Yes we all agree the train is becoming a pain blocking all the roads in Trenton, too. Like when they worked on the bridge we tried to take the back road to Trenton but couldn't because of the train blocking all the roads.
It's ridiculous. As taxpayers can we not put a stop to this?
Editor's Note: We can anyway make noise! Here's the Norfolk Southern number to call: (205) 451-4736. That's the office of the Alabama Supervisor of Transportation, which is in charge of train movements in Dade County.
It should also be noted that the Dade County and Trenton City commissions have been complaining bitterly about the problem for years, both from a business--trains regularly block ingress and egress at the Dade Industrial Park--and emergency services standpoint: How are they to get police and ambulance service to citizens on the east side of the tracks if a train is stopped on the tracks? Maybe hearing it from the mouths of the citizens themselves will convince Norfolk Southern there really is a problem.
Calling the 205 number connects you with a company representative who will type up a formal complaint. It is helpful to have the crossing number--the one for Steel Road is 725692W. If you are complaining about another crossing, and don't have the number, a milepost number or any other relevant geographical reference is helpful.