TOWN OF TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) — A CSX Transportation train blocked the intersection of Woodward Ave. near Military Rd. in the Town of Tonawanda for part of Friday. According to police, the train stopped because the crew reached its maximum operating time.
After the stalled train was reported shortly after 8:30 a.m., CSX told police they expected the delay to last another two hours because of shortages in personnel. Around 11 a.m., the train continued on its way.
“I would describe it as surprising,” said Lt. Thomas Haynes of the Town of Tonawanda Police Department.
Police in the town are now expressing frustration with CSX, saying they had trouble getting immediate assistance from the railway group. They are also questioning why the train stopped at a railway crossing.
“This is a major truck highway and thoroughfare,” said Haynes. “Obviously there are large corporations, schools, and it’s an inconvenience. It’s also difficult for emergency vehicles.
“How they didn’t have it planned is as much a question to us as it is to you.”
A CSX spokesperson sent News 4 the following statement: “CSX strives to be a good neighbor in the communities where we operate, and we work hard to minimize the impact of our operations. CSX apologizes to the residents of Tonawanda for the disruption that resulted when one of our trains blocked Woodward Avenue (Friday) morning. There are times when mechanical and operational issues could result in blocked crossings, as well as when trains also may stop for mandatory safety inspections or federally-regulated crew changes. We work to serve our customers and communities as safely and efficiently as possible and our operations team is committed to reducing occurrences that impact drivers or normal traffic flow.”