Train blocks entrance to Kenton County home for 2+ hours

Posted at 6:30 PM, Jan 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-17 08:37:22-05

DEMOSSVILLE, Ky. -- A Northern Kentucky woman says a train stopped on the tracks outside her home for more than two hours Sunday, blocking the only way in and out.

A CSX crew stopped their train at about 8 a.m. Sunday in Kenton County to conduct a safety inspection after receiving a signal from a trackside sensor that there was a potential mechanical issue with the train, according to CSX spokeswoman Laura Phelps.

The train was stopped outside Stephanie Baldwin's DeMossville home, and it was stopped on the crossing that connects her rural property to the street. Baldwin said trains have stopped there before, but never for so long. She's worried what would happen if the train stopped when she needed help for a medical emergency.

"You could find yourself in a bad spot very quickly," Baldwin said. "I just worry, if something happened, what would we do?"

After noticing the train wasn't moving for quite some time, Baldwin decided to get a hold of CSX to get some answers. She wasn't pleased with the result.

"There was no indication or willingness of this person on the phone to say 'Let me see what I can do, let me try to at least get the train moved from your crossing,'" she said.

Phelps said that the company "makes every effort to stop trains in areas where they do not block drivers and property owners." In cases where they do block a crossing, they notify local law enforcement officials, and did tell the Kenton County Sheriff's Office in this case, she said.

She also said they wished to apologize for any inconvenience.

"Safety is always our highest priority," Phelps said. "We've made significant investments in trackside safety technology -- like the scanner that detected a potential problem Sunday -- so we can proactively identify any safety issues with trains and prevent them from becoming more serious problems."

It took the crew a long time to address the issue because they have to walk the length of the train to investigate, according to Phelps.

Baldwin said there could be another way to cross to her farm: a wooden bridge crosses the tracks, but the state has deemed it unsafe. She wants CSX to pay for repairs. The company didn't immediately respond to questions about the bridge.