Alabaster city officials consider ticketing trains that block tracks

Alabaster city officials consider ticketing trains that block tracks

ALABASTER, AL (WBRC) - The city of Alabaster is looking to Tuscaloosa when it comes to trains blocking the tracks.

The city of Tuscaloosa has recently implemented an ordinance that allows their police officers to ticket the engineers of trains that block the tracks for an extended amount of time.

The challenge is that there are federal laws that could conflict with local law.

In the city of Alabaster, there are CSX and Norfolk-Southern lines that run through the city and cross a couple of major streets including County Road 11, Highway 31 and 119.

There are times when the trains come through that they can back up and sit on the tracks for a while and cause some frustration for drivers.

So Alabaster city leaders there are keeping a close eye on how the ticketing ordinance plays out in Tuscaloosa to see if it's something they should consider and if it would be beneficial for them.

"There's probably not a lot you can do. I mean you can write ordinances, but federal law is going to trump your local ordinances in many cases," Alabaster City Manager Brian Binzer said.

"And so we're going to watch and see what happens in our neighboring communities. But aside from that, we do have a good working relationship with the railroad companies. We do try to meet with them from time to time. They've been responsive to us in many ways," said Binzer.

Binzer says the city is researching the issue to see what other cities nationwide are doing to address this and they are open to ideas that the residents may have.

Also, they hope the rail lines might come to the table to address this issue as well.

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