First responders often inconvenienced by block railroad crossings, officials want to make difference

Local News

If you’ve ever been inconvenienced by a train blocking a railroad crossing, you’re not alone. 

The Federal Railroad Administration recently announced a request for information from communities on blocked railroad crossings. 

The FRA is looking into potential safety concerns with crossings blocked by trains. 

This is something first responders here in the Tri-State face frequently. 
When lives are at stake, every second counts, “There are multiple things that are time sensitive. chest pain, stroke, trauma, getting to a surgery suite,” said AMR clinical manager Lee Turpen. 

Turpen says his emergency response vehicles rely on clear roadways and many problems arise because of unpredictable railroad crossings. 

“We know they are on a schedule, but there are sometimes the train stops or stops in the middle of the intersection and that can be a delay for any public safety vehicle.” 

Rerouting can take crucial time away from their response. In some cases it could be a matter of life and death. 

Turpen says the crossing at Mill Road between Kratzville and St. Joe causes some of these problems. 

“This could take something that’s time critical such as cardiac arrest… a delay could easily take you out of that threshold of survival.’ 

The FRA realizes this is an ongoing problem and is looking to make a difference, recently asking people to submit information on frequent locations of blocked or slow moving trains in the area. 

“I think it’s good they’re collecting data on it because that’s the first step in any of these processes is to make sure the problem is real.” 

Indiana senators Todd Young and Mike Braun are urging hoosiers to share their input so a difference can be made.

You can find a link to report your concern here.

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(This story was originally published on June 18, 2019)

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