Trains no longer blocking entrance to Birmingham neighborhood

Trains no longer blocking entrance to Birmingham neighborhood

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Wednesday morning was for nearly 200 people in one Birmingham neighborhood.

Residents couldn't get in or out for several hours because of trains.

Two different trains were blocking both entrances to Harris Homes Housing Projects on Brussels Avenue.

Residents tell say one train had engine trouble and got stuck around 5 p.m. on Thursday.The other stopped around 2 a.m. Wednesday when the operator reached the max amount of hours he could work.

A lot of people who live there were trapped for a while and ended up being late to work. Some sent pictures to their bosses to prove they couldn't get out of the area.

Residents say this has happened several times before and they're sick of it.

"It's ridiculous. People on dialysis can't get out. People trying to get to work can't get out. I don't know what's going on. I've been calling and calling I think they got me on call block now because I've been calling so many times," Nyteria Taylor explained.

The neighborhood association president says they plan to set up a meeting with city leaders to figure out a solution so this doesn't happen again.

Norfolk Southern released the flowing statement:

"The neighborhood sits off Georgia Road in Birmingham.Demand for freight rail transportation is strong across the U.S., and along Norfolk Southern's rail lines near Birmingham.  Due to unexpected congestion on our tracks through Alabama, trains moved at a slower pace on Tuesday. This congestion resulted in one of our train crews reaching the end of its shift. Federal law, under the 'Hours of Service Act,' limits the maximum number of hours that a train crew can work at any one time to 12 hours. When the train crew reached that limit shortly before 3 a.m. on Wednesday, we had to stop the train and bring in a new train crew to finish the trip. In addition, we had 3 other trains on that same line that could not move until the new crew arrived. Train traffic bean [sic] moving again shortly after 8:30 a.m. this morning. We apologize to the residents who were inconvenienced by the trains blocking access to their homes. Our goal is to always keep our trains moving safely through communities and never to block a crossing."

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