Crawfordsville city officials announced Wednesday afternoon they have reached an agreement with CSX Transportation regarding blocked rail crossings.
Mayor Todd Barton said the city has recently experienced an increase in blocked rail crossings and reached out to the Surface Transportation Board for assistance.
“As a result, we have been in discussions with CSX Transportation to determine the cause for the recent increase in stopped trains blocking crossings,” Barton said. “The root cause has been identified as stemming from an operational change that had been made by CSX. A daily train that had been a through train was now being required to stop, drop off rail cars and pick up additional cars in Crawfordsville. Due to the length of this train and the amount of time required to complete the work, crossings were blocked for an excessive amount of time.”
In September the Indiana Supreme Court overturned an Indiana law allowing local governments to regulate the amount of time rail companies blocked crossings.
Additionally, the city has applied for funding from the Indiana Department of Transportation for funding under the Local Trax Program and the U.S. Department of Transportation under the BUILD Grant Program for an overpass on Market Street. Market Street carries U.S. 136, State Road 32 and State Road 47 through the city and is considered a state highway under the jurisdiction of INDOT rather than the city.
“It is anticipated that award announcements will be made soon and we will know if we will receive funding to address this ongoing problem,” Barton said.
Barton strongly encourages local citizens affected by blockages to take the following steps:
• Contact CSX Transportation when a blockage occurs at 1-800-232-0144 or via their website at www.csx.com.
• For blockages occurring on Market Street/US136/SR32/SR47 contact INDOT’s Crawfordsville District office at 765-364-9226 and encourage them to address the obstruction of state highways by supporting Crawfordsville’s Local Trax application.
• Contact INDOT Rail Services Office in Indianapolis at firstname.lastname@example.org and encourage them to support Crawfordsville’s Local Trax application.