Showing posts with label Federal Railroad Commission. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Federal Railroad Commission. Show all posts

Want to Report Railroad Crossings Blocked by Trains?

Lately, I hear and read a lot of complaints from Galionites getting stopped at railroad crossings blocked by trains, and I often hear that there's no one to complain to who can do anything about it.

Report Blocked Railroad Crossings in Galion

But, there is an agency that WANTS to do something about it - the PUCO - and they are asking people to report blocked crossings to the Federal Railroad Administration.

Report Blocked Railroad Crossings in Galion
Blocked Railroad Crossing image courtesy of Pixabay

The PUCO provides a form on their website that anyone who encounters a train blocking the crossing can fill out.

The form is even designed to be filled out EACH TIME a train blocks a crossing, so, for example, if you get caught waiting on trains around the same time every day at the crossing on Portland Way (Which is, by the way, crossing number: 262040V - the crossing number is needed for the form), you can go to the PUCO's form and enter that information every day if necessary.

The PUCO Rail Division

The PUCO Rail Division does explain that they have no authority over blocked railroad crossings, BUT, they are collecting this information as part of a partnership with the Federal Railroad Administration, which is also called the FRA - and the Federal Railroad Administration does have authority over this.

To give you a bit more information on this, blocked railroad crossings have become a nationwide problem, and it's been an ongoing problem for a while in this country (not only in Galion.) 

The more reports the PUCO and FRA get, the more accurate their information will be, and the more they will be able to do something about the problem.

The Form to Report Blocked Railroad Crossings

The form asks a number of questions, but it's a fairly short form.

  • Crossing Number: Crossing numbers aren't common information, but there is a link under the blank that takes you to the FRA page to determine the crossing number.
  • Street: Optional, because the crossing number tells them the street location
  • Date Observed: Mandatory to submit the form
  • Time of Day: Optional but helpful
  • How Long the Crossing Was Blocked: Mandatory to submit the form. 
    • If you left before the crossing reopened, you can mention that in the "Other conditions related to the blockage" box, just mention how long you waited or how long you know it was blocked.) 
  • Cause: (Optional - If Known)
  • Train Stopped or Moving: Most of the blockages I've seen in Galion, the train is simply stopped and blocking the tracks, but be sure to add this information.
  • Direction of Train Travel: ...
  • Other Conditions Related to the Blockage: ...
  • Impacts to Community: This is where you get a chance to share information about things like emergency service vehicles unable to navigate to the hospital or a fire, etc. 
    • It's also your chance to mention things like trains blocking the track and making you late for work or anything you may have been late in attending.

Contacting the FRA Directly

While following the directions provided as part of this project is the best chance of Galionites ever actually getting a remedy for this situation, you can also contact the FRA directly if you feel the need, and contact info for the FRA follows...

The FRA has regional offices across the country, and you can visit this online map to find details about contacting the regional FRA office directly. 

(Based on the map, Galionites would contact the Region 2 office at (800)724-5992 or FRA headquarters at (202)493-6014.)

No one can really guess at this point what, if anything, will come of Galion citizens filling out this form about blocked train crossings in Galion, but two things are certain:
  • The squeaky wheel gets the grease... 
  • Remaining silent on the issue ensures the Federal Railroad Administration will put their attention elsewhere when they start to make changes. 
    • (After all, if they don't know, they can't fix it.)
Filling out the form costs nothing, they don't even ask for your name on it, and it's a short, easy form to fill out. 

So, if you've been feeling annoyed with all the blocked train crossings lately, this is your chance to complain to someone who has the power to do something about it.


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