JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A CSX train blocked up Baldwin, and it’s not the first time neighbors have complained about the issue.
Neighbors along Yellow Water Road near W Beaver Street said a train on the railroad crossing stopped traffic for more than two hours on Monday.
“It’s a mess. Can’t get in, can’t get out,” said Chirlene Tanner. “It’s going to cause somebody to get hurt or dead,” said Diane Votava. Votava and her husband Roy filmed the traffic mess and shared video with Action News Jax.
Diane was trying to get home to her medications but was stuck in the delay. She said thankfully it was not a matter of life or death. However, one time she recalled it was when she was having a heart attack.
“I’ve sat in the back of an ambulance waiting for that train,” she said.
CSX blamed a mechanical issue for the backup Monday. In a statement, a representative said, “CSX strives to be a good neighbor and we work hard to minimize the impact of our operations in communities we serve. We apologize for any inconvenience caused to motorists after one of our trains experienced a mechanical issue and blocked the Yellow Water Road grade crossing near Baldwin yesterday. CSX makes every reasonable effort to ensure that our trains occupy grade crossings for the shortest time possible, however, there are times when a crossing may unavoidably be blocked.”
Neighbors argued it’s more likely the result of backups at the CSX railyard nearby which they said has caused issues for several years.
The problems in Baldwin are similar to what drivers have experienced around the train in San Marco. Jacksonville was awarded a $17 million federal grant to help with railway improvement projects. Council Member Leanna Cumber told Action News Jax last September that it could be at least another year before those projects start.
It is a violation of city ordinance for a train to sit on the tracks for more than 15 minutes. A bill filed three years ago in the State House of Representatives attempted to increase the fines by more than $1000, but it did not pass through the Transportation Committee.
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