Train stops traffic in Linden

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 8, 2005

LINDEN-A familiar sight plagued afternoon traffic in the City of Linden Tuesday. Mechanical problems for a train passing through the city once again led to long-term blockage of city streets.

Linden Police Chief Jeff Laduron said Tuesday afternoon his office was flooded with calls from motorists who could not get across town.

“We started getting calls in the afternoon about the trains blocking the road,” Laduron said. “We made contact with the engineer on the train and they told us they were having trouble with air brakes.”

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Laduron said this was no small blockage. He said for well over an hour cars were deadlocked with no hope of reaching their respective destinations. Laduron said he contacted the company by phone and informed them of the problems they were having and the steps they had taken in the past.

“For over an hour, they had both roads blocked,” Laduron said. “I talked to them on the phone and let them know what was going on and told them we had talked to the Public Service Commission and the Attorney General.”

Laduron said there was a new person in the position they normally contacted who was unfamiliar with the situation. He said they were assured the problems were strictly mechanical and would be remedied.

Unfortunately, no matter how the problem arises, the results are the same. Blockage of the north and south portions of town create a hazard because emergency vehicles cannot access either side when the streets are covered. While researching the situation, the city was informed by the state there were no specific laws governing the situation’s, which left their hands tied.

There is little citizens can do to physically move the trains, but they can let the company know when there are problems. Motorists are encouraged to call M&B Railroad at 334-876-9800.

Construction of a new track was expected to prevent further incidents, however, that construction has not begun.

In other business, the council discussed what they could do to help hurricane victims. City Administrator Cheryl Hall and others have already begun putting together care packages for those hit by Hurricane Katrina.