Wellington resident Michael Cody expresses dismay with railroad blockage of intersectionsadmin August 14, 2020 0 COMMENTS
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Thank you for your input. +13 Vote up Vote down KsRes · 313 weeks ago Well, we all know that the 10 minute rule does NOT apply here!! Report Reply 0 replies · active 313 weeks ago +9 Vote up Vote down Voodoo Child · 313 weeks ago I guess its one of those we wont do anything till we get sued deals huh. Unfortunately it will probably cost a person their life before anyone makes a move. Its called the stalling game cause they, the railroad, has the most money, the better gene pool of attorneys and power in places we have no idea where or how far it reaches…but good luck anyhow. By the way I live south of the tracks too. Report Reply 1 reply · active 313 weeks ago +4 Vote up Vote down Bluejays Rule · 313 weeks ago It’s like that in Caldwell too with UP Report Reply 0 replies · active 313 weeks ago +3 Vote up Vote down Wellington Resident · 313 weeks ago I use to be a south sider. I moved specifically because of the trains. Loved my house, loved my neighborhood but I could not handle the trains any longer due to this reason… Report Reply 0 replies · active 313 weeks ago +1 Vote up Vote down S. Wellington residt · 313 weeks ago I live in south Wellington and I too have noticed the length that crossings are blocked. The 800 number given on the equipment boxes near the tracks to get you to a BNSF rep get you nowhere as I think that line is not answered ever. Pedestrians have no alternative as it’s a trek to go to the underpasses or to the highway. The greatest and most tragic consequence would be if a child or adult (who might know better) were killed in a back up action of a train (when engines are added or train restarting) when trying to cross thru a standing train. Young boys think of themselves invincible. Do we have any serious train safety education in the schools in this town? We have up to 80-100 trains crossing Wellington daily. More than in the history of this railroad town. A little known fact. Some people on the south side are bothered by the horns of the trains but I am not. At least I know they are out there and there are greater dangers as I see it. Community leaders, even visiting national leaders, do not see the dangers and problems with the trains passing via our city. I will not mention names. It is common knowledge to people who read national papers or even are on the Internet of the possible dangers of oil carrying tank cars (of which are passing thru our city). Serious accidents have happened in other states and Canada.You may want to get online and find out. Are our city first responders able to deal with a catastrophic accident from one of these oil trains? Has there been preparation for such an event? Any discussion? Can we be assured? Is such an accident a concern or not likely to happen? You may not get any response from Kyle Hoffman. He seems to be totally in the pocket of big, big business, and even voted against (he told me himself and was proud of it) wind energy (2X) contrary and perhaps oblivious to the evidence that wind energy produces revenue for our farmers and ranchers which can be a big plus especially in this type of crop year. Is that not oblivious? Is there anything the city can do to bring up the discussion/forum about the trains, problems, benefits? Is it possible to get any modifications from BNSF or even starting some negotiations with BNSF? No?Yes? Not likely? Has that happened? What can we do ourselves for the safety of children from the south side? Is there a definite plan (take the highway?) for emergency vehicles to get to the south part of town in case of need during train blockages? I for one do have interest to know what others think. Report Reply 0 replies · active 313 weeks ago +1 Vote up Vote down Not Happy · 313 weeks ago The trains block the county road crossings as well. I personally seen one train block a crossing for 12 hours and it was left unmanned during that time. I called the 800 number and the dispatcher told me there were alternative routs around the blocked crossings and there was nothing they were going to do about it and I would just have to wait tell the train moved. I personally think the trains should be shortened to less than a mile in length therefore they can be parked outside the city and not block crossings. However nothing short of a presidential order will make ALL train traffic follow there own rules. This is a ticking death trap something bad will happen when we least expect it!! Report Reply 0 replies · active 313 weeks ago +8 Vote up Vote down just wondering · 313 weeks ago I worked for the Santa Fe for 10 years many moons ago. Trains very seldom blocked the intersections since even main line trains switched crews at head end and the way car(caboose). The crews were taxied each way. Trains were inspected during this time by car-men who looked for hot wheels and shifting loads. All those jobs are long gone, since the early 90’s. There is no more way-cars, just a flashing red light, so trains now change crews at the yard office. Why they are stopping for deadheading crews on rear locomotives instead of the head end is anybody’s guess. I know Mike has a valid complaint and it is too bad no one has an answer for him. I feel it’s great that we have a major railroad main line that passes through here. A lot of people work for the BNSF. These people are our friends and neighbors. Their children attend our schools and churches. They pay taxes, just like you and me. They belong to service clubs, attend ball games, etc., just like you and me. The railroad is the reason Wellington is here and not the size of Mayfield. I’m old enough to remember the cattle pins out in the yards, but only heard stories of the roundhouse where 400 men were employed. I wish Mike and his neighbors South of the tracks the best of luck finding a solution to this problem which has gone on for many years. What makes the most sense would be for the BNSF to construct a small building out East on the double-track at US160 overpass and change crews there. No more stopping on intersections. Here’s a question for you Cue. What year was the bride built over the railroad on 160 East? The highway used to go under the tracks there. Report Reply 1 reply · active 313 weeks ago 0 Vote up Vote down SWellingtonresidt · 313 weeks ago FYI Earlier this spring a statewide committee (The Kansas Freight Advisory Committee) was formed to study issues around freight transportation in the state. It looks like it is geared to assessing the needs of business. It was created by Kansas Secretary of Transportation Mike King. It’s function as stated in an article-“As well as advising and assisting with identifying freight transportation issues, the committee will help us (the state) prioritize highway and rail freight corridors of significance and identify multimodal freight infrastructure needs” King stated in a news release. No mention was made of safety issues. French Thompson was named as the representative from BNSF. In short-KDOT needed a better understanding of the demands of expanding freight within the state. That includes train freight and how it functions. Name of the Article-Area officials named to committee studying freight issues. from the Hutchinson News. This may perhaps be helpful information Report Reply 0 replies · active 313 weeks ago +5 Vote up Vote down crusader pride · 313 weeks ago Today a train stopped. ..was only standing still six minutes. ..but it shut down every intersection from the yard office south..the train extended south over us 81..the train stopped at the yard and switched crews…been just as easy to switch north of the yard…that is what all those vans are for. I love the trains..love the people that work there..seems to be a common sense thing. Report Reply 2 replies · active 313 weeks ago +1 Vote up Vote down Harold Gaines · 313 weeks ago There are underpasses at US 81, S. Ash St., S. Fair St. and at Meridian Rd. The south side of town is never completely blocked by trains. As for the statute, the penalties (upon conviction) are only $100 for 10 to 20 minutes, $300 for 20 to 30 minutes, $600 for 30 minutes or more and $600 for each additional 30 minutes. Now, being a misdemeanor complaint, this would have to be provable in court, and would have to be prosecuted by the district attorney. The BNSF has lots of attorneys on staff. This is moot, though, since the Interstate Commerce Commission Termination Act of 1995 pre-empts local regulations on level crossing blockage. Several court cases have upheld this preemption. Road crossing blockage is regulated by the Surface Transportation Board. The Kansas law from1897 is not valid or enforcable. Here’s a link to a PDF file at the Minnesota DOT that details it: www.dot.state.mn.us/frac/PDF/landusereg.pdf Report Reply 1 reply · active 313 weeks ago 12Next » Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! Reply as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Cancel Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments By Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow â€” Michael Cody of Wellington lives at 616 S. Washington Ave. and for years he has lived with the Burlington Northern-Santa Fe trains passing near his home.This weekend Cody sent an e-mail letter to members of the Wellington City Council, State Rep. Kyle Hoffman, and Burlington Northern – Santa Fe officials expressing his concerns with the dangers of trains sitting on the railroad tracks blocking public traffic intersections within the Wellington City Council. He had asked that Sumner Newscow re-publish the letter for the public. We have granted his request.Dear sirs:The reason I am writing this letter is to let all concerned parties of the problem that we have in Wellington, KS. I have contacted the State of Kansas, City of Wellington, BNSF and also the FRA. With all of my attempted efforts I have received no help regarding this matter! Under Kansas statute 66-273, the BNSF uses Wellington as its yard which I believe is not the intent of the statute.Â The trains that come into Wellington from the west-to-east stop at the yard office to switch crews which consequently block all five public road crossings in town. This action also blocks off the whole south end of town, the only way to avoid this is to drive around to an underpass which we have two and using these from Washington Ave to get back to Washington Ave is 1.1 and 1.4 miles, respectively.If this was not enough now the BNSF are taking their trains out of town going east to west and stopping them so they can get on the rear engine at the yard office and do a DP which is not all the trains but just another reason to use Wellington as their yard when they so choose. These trains can stop for several minutes or it could even be hours.The problems this cause for the citizens of the south end of Wellington are enormous! There is no access for emergency vehicles, which we have two elder care homes on the south end of town and anybody else in need of emergency vehicles. Pedestrians have no way around and I feel this is where the greatest problem is. I see many people climb across the trains when they are stopped in the public road crossings. I see kids climbing across them even with their bikes.Why would a company or a town allow trains to stop inside of the city at their public road crossings ? This has to be the most dangerous thing the BNSF could be doing inside of a community and they do it as there normal operating procedures!The BNSF claims to be about safety and the community, what I want to know is what part of this operating procedure has to do with the safety of the community and of being a good neighbor.I will be sending this letter to all concerned parties. I am tired of calling people about this problem and nobody doing anything about it! I feel there are peoples lives being put at risk by the way the BNSF is using the City of Wellington as their yard! The next time there is an incident, I don’t want to hear that nobody knew there was a problem in the City of Wellington, KS!!!!!!!!!!Michael L CodyCody then provided a Kansas State Statute addressing the issue:Chapter 66: Public UtilitiesArticle 2: Duties And Liabilities Of Railroad CompaniesStatute 66-273: Permitting trains, engines or cars to stand on public highway. Each and every railroad company or any corporation leasing or otherwise operating a railroad in Kansas is hereby prohibited from allowing its trains, engines or cars to stand upon any public road within one half mile of any incorporated or unincorporated city or town, station or flag station, or upon any crossing or street, to exceed ten minutes at any one time without leaving an opening in the traveled portion of the public road, street or crossing of at least thirty feet in width.History: L. 1897, ch. 169, Â§ 1; L. 1903, ch. 394, Â§ 1; June 1; R.S. 1923, 66-273.Follow us on Twitter.