Trains causing long delays in South Nashville

(Photo: WKRN)
(Photo: WKRN)

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Trains are causing major delays in South Nashville and a few residents say they’ve waited for trains to go by at one particular intersection for hours.

Many are familiar with traffic jams in Nashville but sitting in one spot for an hour-and-a-half takes things to another level and drivers tell News 2 this happens twice a day, all because of trains passing over Elm Hill Pike at Arlington Avenue.

“This street right here’s a busy street and it’s always during peak traffic hour too. It’s unbelievable,” said William Dotson, who works near the intersection.

When News 2 crews arrived at the crossing at 7 a.m. Tuesday morning, the train wasn’t moving.

Some drivers decided to get out and stretch their legs but others weren’t going to wait for the train to pass.

A few just turned around in the middle of the road but others actually drove in the wrong lanes to get around the big backup and that causes even bigger problems.

“To get to work they just bypass and get in the wrong lane to get back on Murfreesboro Road,” said one person waiting.

“Coming and going and I thought there was some sort of rule about train could only stop for about 10 minutes but uh, we sit here a lot longer than that,” said Carrie Johnson, who is fed up with the delays.

News 2 looked into it and according to the Federal Railroad Administration, rules are in place in 38 states stating a train cannot block an intersection for more than an average of 20 minutes but there are no rules like that in Tennessee.

The train finally passed at 8:35 a.m. Tuesday, after blocking the intersection for more than an hour and a half.

Representatives for the Federal Railroad Administration told news 2 there’s a plaque at each crossing with a number to call if this happens to you and someone will answer 24 hours a day—the number for CSX tracks is: 877-TELL-CSX, then press the number 1.

News 2 reached out to CSX corporate officials to see if they’re aware of the problem, and what they plan to do about it.

Kristin Seay with CSX released a statement to News 2:

A CSX train was delayed this morning due to mechanical problems at Elm Hill Pike and Arlington Avenue. The train was traveling from Nashville en route to Chicago and had 174 cars. In compliance with safety protocols, CSX crews walked and inspected the length of the train before it could be safely moved. We apologize for the delay and inconvenience to the community.

On Wednesday morning, the train did not block the intersection as it stopped around 7 a.m.

CSX did not address our inquiries on how to resolve the continuous issue of the stopped trains.