COLBERT COUNTY, Ala. – People in one neighborhood are fed up. They’re tired of being blocked by trains which may sit at an intersection for hours. There are dangers which they say accompany this issue.
“I feel like they have turned a deaf ear on the entire community, certainly out here at Pride Landing,” said resident David Sayle. “It’s scary, we have one way in and one way out.”
Sayle is one of 24 homeowners who are at their wit's end. Take Thursday for instance, a train sat on the tracks blocking the intersection for two hours. Residents say it’s becoming more common and dangerous for them.
Colbert County Emergency Management says they have plans in place in case there is a medical issue and the tracks are blocked. One, call the train company to see if it can be moved, or two, fly the patient out. Both are unsatisfactory to those who live on County Road 53.
Residents have contacted Norfolk Southern, but to date, nothing has changed. A letter was sent out to company officials, legislators, the governor, and county commissioners. Only one responded, Colbert County Commissioner Charlie Hovater.
“I won’t say it has fallen on deaf ears, but I don’t think it has reached the right level to address the problem,” said Hovater. “I’ve gotten to where they won’t answer my calls at the Birmingham dispatch.”
Hovater says they are working on a possible emergency exit for the neighborhood, but like everything else, they need funding to do it.
WHNT News 19 did reach out to media relations for Norfolk Southern on Friday, but at the time this article was published, we had not heard back from them.