The Norfolk Southern railroad was at best, inconsiderate, and at worst, recklessly indifferent, when it allowed trains to block the Defi- ance Street crossing much of Saturday.
What was most maddening to village residents was that train crews could have pulled forward a few car lengths so the Defiance Street crossing would be open, and traffic could flow freely.
Railroads are regulated by federal law, and when the law says a train crew has worked the maximum number of hours, the train stops until a relief crew arrives.
As much as we want them to “just move the train a few feet,” they are prohibited by law from doing anything until the required rest period is up.
It’s a safety measure to prevent overly-fatigued crews from falling asleep at the throttle and possibly causing an accident.
That doesn’t make the situation that occurred Saturday any easier to swallow. Did they need to stop the train so it blocked the crossing?
Archbold residents have lived with trains for decades. We’ve listened to their blaring horns and thundering locomotives. We’ve benefitted from the goods they bring and take away. We’ve celebrated them in song; we mourn when a train hits a car at a crossing and claims a life. We put up with the delays and inconvenience they cause. For us, living with trains is a way of life.
We’re accustomed to it. But wasn’t what happened Saturday callous and thoughtless?