People in Anderson growing frustrated with trains blocking crossings

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ANDERSON, Ind. – Many people who live in Anderson say they are frustrated with trains blocking intersections around the city.

They tell FOX59 the problems continue despite efforts from city leaders to resolve the situation with the train company.

James Vonderschmitt owns a car care shop located just off Scatterfield Road. There are two train crossings on his block. He said train stoppages have become part of his routine.

"It's daily," Vonderschmitt said. "Normally, anywhere from a half hour to two hours. Saturday it was two hours."

He said the trains are impacting his business.

"We can’t get out to take test drives, customers can’t leave," Vonderschmitt said. "It’s getting bad."

We talked to drivers around town who echoed his feelings.

Shane Maclean has to go to a medical center near the tracks three times a week.

"They’re out there for like hours at a time," Maclean said. "It’s pretty hard you have to go around it."

Police took action last month and cited CSX for a train that was stopped on the tracks for more than 10 minutes. A fine will be set at a court hearing in a couple of weeks.

A bus driver, who said she has witnessed trains stopped for five hours, doesn't think one fine is enough.

"I don’t think one fine is going to do it," said the bus driver, who asked not to be identified because of her job. "CSX has hundreds of thousands of dollars I’m sure. They don’t take into consideration people’s livelihoods."

The bus driver said she has trouble along her routes because of the stopped trains. She also has concerns about more urgent travel.

"The emergency medical people, police  and fire, they can’t get where they need to go to help people out if they’re stuck by trains," she said.

A spokesperson from CSX sent us a statement about the trains in Anderson:

“CSX is committed to being a good neighbor to the community of Anderson, and to that end, we have made some changes to train schedules to minimize the impact of our operations. We will continue evaluating and monitoring the situation to determine if further changes can be made, and we remain in close communication with local leaders and first responders."

Back in February, the city of Anderson reported reaching a deal with CSX to reduce the number of trains going through the city during the morning rush hour. We reached out to the mayor's office Monday about the recent train issues but a representative said the city has no comment.

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