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Railroad cited for blocking Hubbard crossings

HUBBARD TOWNSHIP — A township police captain on Friday said he has sent officials of Norfolk Southern railroad, headquartered in Atlanta, a traffic citation.

The citation is for the incident on Dec. 27 of a train blocking two Hubbard Township crossings for more than six hours, backing up traffic at both state Route 304 and Lewis Siefert Road.

Capt. Ron Fusco said the citation for obstructing of roads by railroads was sent out along with a short letter dated Jan. 2.

Officers responded to complaints by motorists about 11 a.m. on Dec. 27.

At the time, officers contacted Norfolk Southern and the railroad notified them a new crew was being dispatched and it would take about six hours for them to arrive. Police told the railroad to break the train at both crossings, but the railroad responded that no crew was on the train at the time to do the work.

The report stated a new crew arrived at 5:39 p.m. that day and the train moved minutes later.

At a meeting this week, Hubbard Township trustees said they are checking with the Trumbull County Prosecutor’s Office to see what can be done so that this type of incident will not happen again.

A Girard Municipal Court date has not been scheduled on the charge.

A spokesman for the railroad, Thomas Crosson, director of strategic communications for the Norfolk and Southern Railroad said late Friday afternoon he checked with the company’s legal department and as far as he knows, no one has received the letter from Hubbard Township police or the citation.

The railroad, however, said previously: “We never want to inconvenience a member of the community with a blocked crossing. Our railroad plays a vital role in the nation’s supply chain, helping to move the goods that power our economy and reach store aisles and home doorsteps. We are working hard to keep our trains moving efficiently and minimize these types of impacts — while prioritizing safety and within regulations governing our crews. We continue to value our dialogue with local officials on local solutions that benefit the community.”

gvogrin@tribtoday.com

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