Stopped train creates problems for one town

Stopped train creates problems for one town
A train was blocking Dixon and First Streets in Brinkley Friday for nearly 15 hours. (Source: KATV)

BRINKLEY, AR (KAIT) - A Union Pacific train literally split one half of a town from the other, with officials from that town saying the situation was a safety hazard.

According to a report from Little Rock television station KATV, the train blocked the crossing at Dixon and First Streets at 3 a.m. Friday and was blocking the crossing as of 6 p.m. Friday.

The town's mayor, Billy Hankins, said trains blocking a crossing has been a problem for nearly a year. Brinkley Police Chief Ed Randle agreed, saying the situation could create a problem.

"You know you've got somebody who's being held hostage or somebody who's been shot, or somebody's over there shooting - we can't get to them simply because we can't get past the train," Randle told KATV.

Hankins said city officials have met with railroad officials in recent months to discuss the issue, but he believes nothing is being done.

Union Pacific also released a statement Friday night to KATV, saying the railroad has been working to alleviate the problem.

"Occasionally, a Union Pacific train may temporarily block a road crossing. Most times, a crossing is blocked because of ordinary train operations. Today, a Union Pacific train was blocking crossings in Brinkley, Arkansas. We sincerely apologize to those impacted by this delay. We recognize blocked crossings are a concern to the community and try to avoid these impacts. Our goal is to keep the commodities American families use daily en route to destination," Union Pacific said.

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