Longview residents face issues of trains hindering access to driveways, longer commute times

Local News

LONGVIEW, Texas (KETK) – Longview residents located off of Old Kilgore Highway and Private Road 2317 are hoping to stop trains from blocking their driveways. Residents say Union Pacific Railroad has parked their trains in the middle of the intersection and leaves residents who live at the crossing, stuck for hours on end.

“When it does, it’s anywhere between an hour up to four hours. They don’t move, we call the number on the track like we’re supposed to,” said Longview resident, Philip Straub.

The issue is resulting in long wait times both to work and coming home.

“We got a guy here who lives on hospice. My mother-in-law was three hours late this morning. I’ve been late several times for work. My stepson came home last night and he couldn’t even get home,” said Straub.

Neighbors say it has become a dangerous problem. Not just for their loved ones, but for themselves.

“I have actually crawled under the train, many times. Because I’m not going to sit on the other side of my driveway when my house is right here. So, if the train won’t move, then I will just do other options and get to my house,” said Longview resident, Jennifer Cecil.

Residents say that they have called the phone numbers posted at the railroad crossing and tried to work with Union Pacific, wondering why the train stops at this particular crossing when the train depot is ten minutes more into town.

“I called TxDOT this morning. We’ve called the county commissioner, we have called the police department, the sheriff’s department. I mean we have called everybody we can think of,” said resident Carol Bonds.

People are now taking pictures as proof when reporting late to work. They say their children are even being marked absent for arriving three hours late to school.

We reached out to Union Pacific Railroad and they released a statement:

“Union Pacific wants to apologize for the recent blocked crossings in Longview, Texas. We understand the community’s concerns. Our goal is to keep trains moving and we are working to move all rail shipments more efficiently. We are also examining areas experiencing prolonged blocked crossings in order to find ways to alleviate the issue. Drivers and pedestrians can report occupied crossings on Union Pacific tracks by calling our 24/7 Response Management Communications Center.”

Neighbors in the area of Private Road 2317 are hoping to see this issue resolved by Union Pacific Railroad as soon as possible.

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