Stabenow no-show at CSX Railroad meeting
Dec. 8, 2017 PLYMOUTH EAGLE.
Plymouth Michigan News
On the heels of formal complaints to government officials by area community leaders, a CSX Railroad crew again blocked intersections and upset motorists in Plymouth when they strategically parked the train across four major intersections; Mill, Ann Arbor Trail, Farmer and Main streets Dec. 2.
Informed sources said they suspected the Saturday morning stoppage, which continued from about 10 a.m. could have been a union response to comments during a Nov. 28 meeting, organized by Senator Debbie Stabenow, between representatives from Plymouth, Plymouth Township, Canton Township, Huron Township and Livonia along with CSC railroad officials.
The area leaders, CSX North Region Superintendent Robert Dales and Federal Railroad Administration officials-connected by a conference call, talked about the dangers of delayed public safety response times and constant blocked crossings. Stabenow did not attend the meeting.
Plymouth Township Clerk Jerry Vorva who represented the township at the meeting, said railroad officials blamed scheduling problems and union issues for the ongoing delays. Vorva said he had doubts Stabenow’s office would foster any new legislation that would help the problem.
Over past months Plymouth officials have posted signs at various city crossings urging motorists to report emergencies to CSX and the federal railroad administration. Vorva said he learned there are only three railroad detectives in all of Michigan to respond.
In a news release, Dales stated he has “adjusted some train schedules” and has “installed underground air compressors” in three locations to recharge the cars’ air braking systems more quickly. Dales stated computer malfunctions caused the recent nine-hour blockage in Plymouth last month and are still a possibility.
CSX Regional Vice President Tom Livingston promised to work on a protocol for better communication. During the meeting with officials Plymouth Mayor Pro tem Colleen Pobur said that communication could ease the frustration caused by the blockages.
“If you know there’s going to be a blockage, tell us and we can let our citizens know,” she said. Plymouth Police Chief Al Cox added, “If we have the information, we can manage our problems.”
Those comments prompted Livingston’s promise to “work on a protocol for communication.”
Gallery photo: Youtube.com