St. Clair County woman directs traffic as railroad crossing causes issues for drivers

Local News
Christmas Day
December 25 2021 12:00 am

ST. CLAIR COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) – Trains have been an issue for many in Central Alabama in recent weeks.

On Thursday night, residents of Trails End Lane say the arms of the railroad crossing went down because the train had to be separated in order for traffic to somewhat flow through. Around 8 p.m. Friday night, the train was moved and the arms raised up.

During that time, resident Denise Mayo says the train on the tracks can block people’s view of what’s coming.

“The train has it blocked. So you can’t see the oncoming traffic. You can’t see the oncoming train,” Mayo said.

Mayo says she has spoken to the Railroad Police and Norfolk Southern about the issue. She says an employee with Norfolk Southern told her the reason for the issue was due to the railyard in Birmingham being full. And because of the issue, she felt a personal responsibility and directed traffic throughout the day in the rain.

“Because I’m doing everything I can to help all these people who live in this neighborhood. And to make sure nobody gets killed again,” Mayo said.

She wasn’t alone, though. One man came over to help her out for a little while. A person from Norfolk Southern also came out to raise the arms for a minute in order for school bus traffic to get by. Once the buses cleared the tracks, the arms came down again.

“It’s very frustrating,” one neighbor said.

Mayo says in the past, issues like Friday’s have caused cars to get hit by trains, even one person dying years ago. She says it’s because of those instances she wants to speak up and have the issues fixed.

“I’m not willing to allow someone else to die,” Mayo said.

St. Clair County Commissioners Tommy Bower or Ricky Parker weren’t able to comment on the matter. CBS 42 reached out to Norfolk Southern about it and are still waiting for a response.

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