Trains cause traffic blockages, spark safety concerns in Arlington Heights

Posted at 4:30 AM, Jul 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-26 06:52:42-04

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ohio -- City councilman Scott Bothe said Tuesday his community has dealt with the nearby train tracks since its foundation in 1889, but the last six months have been unlike anything it's ever experienced.

"This is something that's new," he said. "This is not what we've been dealing with."

Over the last half-year, according to Bothe, trains have been screeching to a halt on the tracks and blocking two of the village's main crossings, sometimes for up to an hour at a time. 

He and local business owners such as Jeff Lawson, CEO of Cindus Corporation, said these traffic jams block local emergency services from accessing parts of the town.

"They have to come, get to the tracks, (and) realize it's blocked," he said. "Then they have to call Lockland and Lockland has to respond, and that's not acceptable."

Norfolk Southern, the company that owns the train tracks, said in a statement the delays are caused by the need for its trains to get clearance to move onto tracks owned by another railroad.

"Norfolk Southern is working with the other railroad to minimize these wait times," the statement read. "We want to avoid these delays as much as anyone."