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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Re: The trains blocking roadway in Woodhaven

Unread postby CR900945 » Thu May 24, 2018 7:52 am

Isn't there a hand-thrown switch on this trackage? It seems from past observations that trains inbound have to stop to throw the switch then slowly get underway again. Is this the case?
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Re: The trains blocking roadway in Woodhaven

Unread postby Fred » Thu May 24, 2018 8:42 am

Yes, there are multiple hand thrown switches that might need to be thrown.
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Re: The trains blocking roadway in Woodhaven

Unread postby M.D.Bentley » Sun May 27, 2018 10:18 am

Flatrock yard is not as busy as it was in the past ( ups and downs with the economy ) . Powered or automated switches would help tremendously, but not solve all the problems. The monster trains that the CN is moving are part of the problem ( Thanks E.E.H. - LOL ! ). The CN could also have a "UB" = utility brakeman driving around ahead of the trains arrival lining switches, which would elevate some of the wait. But big trains do not move fast when yarding and departing. And as for the funding, the next time you drive over the I-75 River Rouge bridge which is currently under construction. You can smile knowing that the money was well spent elsewhere ( DIVERTED FUNDS or MY project is more important than yours ! ). Project impact, waiting for a train is NOT as important as falling through a giant hole in the freeway to your death ! ( more people use the freeway vs Allen road ). Although public perspective is different from the political one.
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