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Trains increasingly split KY town for hours, why the mayor’s concern is growing

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Posted at 2:35 PM, Apr 30, 2022

JUNCTION CITY, Ky. (LEX18) — Junction City is a town often divided by trains which residents say have been blocking the town’s main road both more frequently and for longer periods.

A resident told us they have to work extra time into their days to accommodate for the trains, which are often stopped for an hour at a time, according to Mayor Jim Douglas. Residents told us trains sometimes block the road for as long as 8 hours.

It’s more than an inconvenience, Douglas said. On one side of the track are the city’s police and fire departments, while there are many homes on the other side.

“I'm just concerned about the safety of the people on the opposite sides of the tracks,” Douglas said.

He knows of recent instances where ambulances have had to detour around trains. It’s a detour that takes 20 minutes, he added. He’s worried the situation could lead to someone dying.

He’s tried calling the railroad. “I just asked them if there was something they can do about it and of course I get no answer,” Douglas said.

The Norfolk Southern Railroad told LEX 18 that the increase in trains and delays is partly attributed to staffing shortages.

Mayor Douglas said the issue has been ongoing for years.

One resident, Joseph, told LEX 18 that after living in Junction City all his life, he’s leaving because of how bad the delays have gotten.

“Junction a great town, but I just want to move somewhere where the trains aint blocking everything, and have peace,” he said.