There have been no reported incidents of Norfolk Southern trains blocking the two in-town railroad crossings since Monday, Feb. 22, after a flurry of calls between governmental and NS officials.
Brad Grime, Archbold mayor, and this newspaper contacted the office of Bob Latta, U.S. Representative (R-Bowling Green) on Monday, Feb. 22, after the Defiance and Franklin Street crossings were blocked for almost 12 hours, Friday and Saturday, Feb. 19-20.
On that Saturday, one train was stopped, blocking the crossings for about seven hours.
Between Feb. 22-26, there were calls between Archbold officials and Latta, and between Latta and Norfolk Southern officials.
On Friday afternoon, Feb. 26, a conference call included Latta; Grime; Donna Dettling, village administrator; and David Pugh, Buckeye news editor.
During that call, Latta said NS officials had a plan to reduce the times trains are stopped on the crossings. If trains are stopped in Archbold, railroad cars will be uncoupled, or “cut,” to allow traffic over the crossings.
Grime said he was told Archbold could see trains stopped in the crossings in the future, but for no more than 15-20 minutes at a time– not the hours-long blockages as have been happening.
In addition, one highlyplaced railroad official provided local government officials with his cell phone number, where he can be reached 24 hours a day.
Executives at NS also called for a follow-up meeting with Archbold officials to check on the situation.
Dettling said she’s working with Emily Lammers, a staff member in Latta’s office, to set up that conference call.
“I’m still optimistic that things will improve,” Dettling said.