The trains blocking roadway in Woodhaven

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The trains blocking roadway in Woodhaven

Unread postby OwlCaboose2853 » Wed May 16, 2018 3:14 am

Residents fed up with trains blocking roadway in Woodhaven
Injured man stuck at train tracks in ambulance for 20 minutes
https://www.clickondetroit.com/news/residents-fed-up-with-trains-blocking-roadway-in-woodhaven
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Re: The trains blocking roadway in Woodhaven

Unread postby NSSD70ACe » Wed May 16, 2018 12:24 pm

I feel bad for the family who lost a loved one because of it but at the same time, if that crossing has been a problem area for a long time, then the EMTs should've had a backup route on hand.

Looking through the comments on Facebook, I saw that people were primarily complaining about two roads: Van Horn and Vreeland. As it turns out, those two roads bracket Flat Rock yard. Who'da thunk that maybe a major yard might have increased train traffic?

I agree that CN and local first responders should work something out, but other than that it's just the public spouting off like usual about stuff they don't understand.
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Re: The trains blocking roadway in Woodhaven

Unread postby AARR » Wed May 16, 2018 2:39 pm

I worked in the Woodhaven area about 5-8 years ago. There was a CN local that would work the Dearborn Sub King Rd. Yard daily between 3-5pm. Back then the yard was used to stage 86' hi-cube box cars for NS (interchange) and Ford Rouge. They would pick up between 12-20 cars. The engineer would always pull up just far enough to block Sibley Rd. and stay there for 5-10 minutes creating a long vehicle back up on both sides of the track (and of course much to the frustration of the drivers). It didn't matter whether he had 12 or 20 cars he would stop in the same spot. I don't know what they were waiting for. I'm sure the wait was necessary but I couldn't understand why he couldn't back up 1/2 and engine length to clear the road and deactivate the signal. A business contact of mine was the yard master at Flat Rock at the time and I asked him about it (I didn't complain, I was just curious) and he said he would look into it. Soon thereafter the same engineer on the same train started stopping just short of Sibley Rd. so the signals didn't activate and the road was clear. I never followed up with the yard master so I don't know if my question had anything to do with the procedural change. I haven't worked in that area in over 5 years so I don't know if that train still works the same schedule.
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Re: The trains blocking roadway in Woodhaven

Unread postby Fred » Sat May 19, 2018 9:47 am

The road in question for the over/underpass is Allen road near the Van Horn intersection. It is a single track crossing that sees all trains leaving Flat Rock bound for Durand, Port Huron, or Lang yard. Since the trains are either departing or arriving Flat Rock, train speed is SLOW causing the road to be blocked for an extended period of time considering the length of most CN trains. Allen is the main route to a nearby hospital, other alternative is Fort St which is out of the way resulting in additional time to the hospital.
The city has been wanting to build the over/underpass for years but cannot obtain any federal funding.
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