Train company fined for stopping at crossing for days

NEW HAVEN, Ind. (WANE) – Norfolk Southern was fined by the Allen County Sheriff’s Department for being stopped at the railroad crossing at Lincoln Highway and Doyle Road in New Haven over the weekend.

Sheriff Ken Fries told NewsChannel 15 the train stopped Friday morning and didn’t move until Sunday morning. Norfolk Southern was cited seven times with a Class “C” infraction, each ticket costing $153.50. Under Indiana law, a train that’s at a complete stop at a railroad crossing is not allowed to block a roadway for more than 10 minutes. Sheriff Fries said authorities have the right to issue a citation every 10 minutes the train is blocking a roadway.

Tom Ostrognai lives near this railroad crossing. He said this isn’t the first time a Norfolk Southern train has come to a complete stop at the Lincoln Highway and Doyle Rd. crossing. His home was on fire in 2012 and fire crews couldn’t get to his home because of a train blocking Doyle Rd.

“My house burned down,” he said. “Not because of the railroad, but the railroad hampered my firemen from helping me save my house.”

Sheriff Fries said he found out about the situation when one of the dispatchers told callers there’s nothing that could be done.

“I got a hold of the supervisor and said, ‘so why aren’t we going to do something about it?’ I had this complaint in the past,” Fries said. “I said let’s make sure we take care of that problem.”

Fries said he hopes this doesn’t happen again. He warns the train company that authorities will come back out and make sure the train keeps moving.

We’ve reached out to Norfolk Southern to find out why its train was stopped for so long, but our calls have not been returned.

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