DADE CITY — A CSX Transportation train blocked streets on the east side of Dade City for two hours Tuesday morning, about five weeks after city officials complained when a train blocked city intersections for five hours on July 11.
The train blocked streets from about 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday.
“There went two engines past Tuskegee [Street that blocked] MLK, River Road, the entire business center and Pioneer Museum Road,” said City Manager Billy Poe. “It was the same thing. The crew ran out of time. It’s frustrating.”
A CSX train blocked intersections in the same area for five hours on July 11. CSX told city officials that train conductors ran out of time on their work schedule; the conductors can only work 12 hours in a day because of federal guidelines. When they reached their limit, dispatchers told them to stop the train.
The city sent a letter of complaint to CSX, complaining that the stoppage could have hampered safety personnel from responding to calls in a timely manner.
“This thoughtless action on the part of your crew created a tremendous strain on our ability to provide essential public safety services,” Poe wrote. “The blocking of this neighborhood, without so much as a phone call, is unconscionable.”
The railroad sent out representatives who apologized for the inconvenience and told city officials that they would work on better communication. CSX officials said they would give the city warning if a similar situation happened again.
“This is one heck of an apology isn’t it?” Poe said. “They didn’t call us like they said they would.”
Poe said he doesn’t understand why the train cannot stop before entering or after leaving the city where the blockage would have minimal impact. Poe said CSX is not concerned because their customers are not the everyday citizens who are being inconvenienced.
He said city officials have contacted Sen. Marco Rubio’s office and will contact U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Palm Harbor, who had helped the city during the last incident. They plan to contact other officials as well.
Story from TBO.com