PLYMOUTH, Mich. – If you've frequently driven the roads of beautiful Plymouth, Mich. then you've undoubtedly been stuck at a train crossing more than once.
It's probably come at the most inconvenient time for you when you're already running late on your way to an important meeting, because that's how it goes.
So it's no surprise city officials said they have been receiving numerous complaints about the CSX Railroad trains blocking crossings for extended periods of time. The city said the Mill Street South (Lilly Road) crossing was blocked for more than 6 hours on Monday -- yikes.
If you're calling the railroad company at 877-TELL-CSX to report a crossing blockage, then you're calling the wrong number. Plymouth city officials said that number no longer accepts calls about trains blocking crossings.
The city said CSX Railroad trains are regulated by the federal government. Residents and drivers with complaints about blocked railroad crossings are advised to contact federal legislators.
To report trains blocking crossings Plymouth officials recommend you contact all of the following each time there is a train blocking a crossing:
- Congressman David Trott - 248-528-0711
- Senator Debbie Stanenow - 313-961-4330
- Senator Gary Peters - 313-226-6020
- CSX Railroad Emergency - 1-800-232-0144 (Extension 1 to report crossing blocked)
- CSX Regional Vice President - Tom Livingston - 708-832-2169
- Federal Railroad Administration - 419-259-7570
The city of Plymouth reiterated that railroad rules and regulations -- including how long trains block crossings -- are handled by the federal government and the city has no input.
"Persons with questions or concerns about the railroad and railroad safety should contact one or more of the persons listed above," reads a statement from the city.
There are four major railroad crossings in the city of Plymouth which can cause traffic problems:
- Mill Street South (Lilly Road)
- North Mill Street
- West Ann Arbor Trail
- North Main Street
An underpass was created for the Sheldon Road railroad crossing about 10 years ago, freeing up traffic between Downtown Plymouth and M-14.
The railroad also crosses Starkweather Street and Farmer Street.
In 2016, City Manager Paul Sincock said traffic was gridlocked by trains on a daily basis for about an hour or an hour and 1/2.
"It literally cuts our city in half. We have seven railroad crossings in the city limits, and literally they block all seven of them," he said. "It's one thing to live with the trains. It's another thing to be held hostage by the trains."
The only thing residents can do is help log the problem by calling the numbers listed above.