Local leaders file petition over rail crossing complaint

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CHICAGO -- Leaders in Chicago and Evergreen Park say a railroad running trains through their towns is putting residents’ safety at risk.

Three years ago CSX started operating trains on the Elsdon Track, which runs for 22 miles from Munster to the south and southwest suburbs of Chicago and even into parts of Chicago. Some leaders in those communities say they are fed up with trains blocking their crossings and putting people's safety at risk.

Local leaders are pushing for change. On Friday they filed a petition asking the Surface Transportation Board to help sanction CSX and keep intersections clear. One of their biggest concerns is that there are two hospitals along 95th street on the east side of the tracks, Little Company of Mary and, on the West Side, Advocate Christ. The fear is that a life will be lost if an ambulance can’t get by.

“Safety is CSX's highest priority and working with first responders is a vital component of our commitment to keeping communities safe,” said Gail Lobin of CSX Corporate Communications.

It also says it’s working with first responders to develop contingency plans for times when crossings are blocked due to circumstances beyond their control.

The other concern is that people and vehicles attempt to cross the tracks while the trains are out blocking intersections. CSX says it hasn’t had the opportunity to review the city filings yet, but there is a 24/7 number anyone can call if there’s an issue on the tracks: 800-232-0144.


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