Auburndale Residents Fed Up With Stopped Trains

Robert Weinfurter says lately, Canadian National trains haven't been making his life very easy.

"My wife came home last week with groceries, and the ice cream melted," Weinfurter said. "Then Friday night she was going to bring a fish fry home, she said why even bother, because she doesn't know if she's going to get across the tracks."

Last Wednesday, a Canadian National train was stopped for nearly eight hours, blocking residents from their homes and businesses; the Auburndale Recycling Center being an example.

"There were people stranded on this side," Auburndale Recycling Center General Manager David Jacoboski said. "A contractor was stranded, and didn't know anything about the trains staying as long as they did. They have families to get back to at the end of the day as well."

Which also took a toll on business.

"We lost about $17,000 worth of business in one day," Jacoboski said. "The disappointment is Canadian National not having any concern whatsoever for the welfare of the people that work at this facility."

But an even bigger issue at hand is safety.

"You can't get out," Weinfurter said. "If we have a fire, you can't get a fire truck in. If you need an ambulance, you can't get an ambulance in."

This issue has prompted Senator Jerry Petrowski (R) to look into the situation.

"This isn't only a problem that's unique to our area. It's a problem across the state," Sen. Petrowski said. "When I talked to Canadian National this morning, they believed that by putting on more crews, bringing in more crews in it will alleviate this problem with intersections being blocked way too long."

A change that residents like Weinfurter hope makes a big difference, and soon.

"It's getting worse right along now," Weinfurter said.

Canadian National says they are working on a proposal with Auburndale and the Department of Transportation, which would provide residents with a route granting them alternate access; easing the burden of stopped trains.

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