Citizens frustrated with trains blocking intersections

Trains blocking intersections

LIPSCOMB, AL (WBRC) - People living in southwest Birmingham are frustrated with trains parked on tracks which trigger warning gates to come down to block intersections. This has caused some drivers to go around those gates.

"I've been touched personally because the two people who were killed in Lipscomb were friends of mine." Gwendolyn Calhoun said.

An elderly couple, a brother and sister were killed in the Lipscomb accident. Monday This group of southwest Birmingham homeowners met with representatives of Norfolk Southern about trains blocking key intersections. " I had to drive 30 minutes and eight miles to get out of my way to get home. Just like a week ago a train was parked." Calhoun said.

While train representatives listened they did not address the groups concerns because the media and a train accident investigator from a law firm were present. The people here want something done to prevent the blocked trains.

"I would like to see some type of law or ordinance where the trains cannot block an opening any longer than ten minutes," Rosalind Young said.

Jefferson County Commissioner Sandra Little Brown is a cousin of the two people killed. She helped organize the meeting. Brown has been told the train companies need to park their trains because of supply demands in Jefferson County and around the country.

"Federal government, someone needs to send orders down to stop Norfolk Southern, or any of these companies from blocking these crossings," Brown said.

A second meeting is planned with Alabama Congresswoman Terri Sewell. WBRC Fox6 News was told train representatives wanted to walk the tracks with residents to see if any intersection could be closed. Brown said all intersections need to stay open.

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