Parents report CSX trains making students late for school

by: Kevin Clark, Action News Jax Updated:

Getting stuck in traffic caused by CSX trains has become normal in the Town of Baldwin, but now parents report the stalled trains are making their children late for school.

Action News Jax received pictures from parents showing a school bus among the vehicles that had to wait for a stalled CSX train Tuesday morning.

Stacey Gilliland was a few cars behind that bus, intending to drop her children off at Mamie Agnes Jones Elementary School.

“My son has to be there at 8 o’clock for his safety patrol duties,” Gilliland said. “(We) arrived at this train track about 7:45 to a complete stop.”

Gilliland said it took nearly an hour for the train to move. She said her children got to school 20 minutes after they were supposed to be in class.

“There were tons of kids, tons of buses behind us,” said Gilliland. “So there were a lot of kids late for school that day.”

During the last few months, CSX has cut jobs and combined its trains in an effort to increase efficiency.

The railway has drawn local and national criticism for reported service disruptions since CEO Hunter Harrison took over a few months ago.
                                                                                                                                     
The Washington D.C.-based Surface Transportation Board has written multiple letters to CSX, now requiring the company submit specific data regarding train performance and other measures.

Parents tell Action News Jax they hope what happened on Tuesday doesn’t become a habit, but there doesn’t appear to be any signs of relief.

We found dozens of recent citations written by JSO officers for stalled CSX trains, mostly in the Baldwin area.

After we reached out to CSX for a comment, a spokesperson sent us a statement that reads in part:

"CSX works to minimize the impact of our operations on neighboring communities while striving to provide safe and efficient service to customers. CSX is evaluating our operations in the Baldwin area
to determine if improvements can be made to reduce the effects our neighbors are experiencing, and we apologize for any inconveniences we may be causing."

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