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Train strands Trussville Springs residents, again

By Scott Buttram

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TRUSSVILLE –The lack of a permanent entrance to the Trussville Springs neighborhood continues to plague residents.

Friday morning, a train was blocking the only available entrance between the subdivision and U.S. Highway 11 at 5 a.m.  Residents remained stranded until a temporary entrance was opened by Trussville Fire and Rescue at 7 a.m.

A back road to a walking trail along the Cahaba River was used as an alternate entrance by Trussville Springs residents, but it was recently blocked off. Photo by Scott Buttram

A back road to a walking trail along the Cahaba River was used as an alternate entrance by Trussville Springs residents, but it was recently blocked off. Photo by Scott Buttram

A dirt road at the southern edge of the neighborhood that gave residents an alternative way out was gated and locked in 2015, but was to be made available in the case on emergencies. The road passes under the train tracks and exits on Hwy. 11.

Residents said they made calls to the city and requested that the gate be unlocked only to be told that the city no longer had a key.

“When I called to ask for help, she (a city employee) got really loud with me,” one Trussville Springs resident waiting at the blocked entrance said.

At about 7 a.m., officials arrived from Trussville Fire an Rescue and told The Trussville Tribune that they would open the gate.

Chief Russell Ledbetter confirmed that TFRD does have a key to the gate.

“I’m not sure where the disconnect came, but we do have a key for emergencies,” Ledbtter said. “We can only open it for emergencies and a train blocking the tracks is an emergency.”

Even with the temporary access open, the pending rains could create new problems. The secondary road lies in a flood prone area that has seen water levels rise above car doors.

Comments

  1. The train crossing was there long before the development. Plus the train yard is not far from Trussville, it makes sense they have to stop now and then. People need to think of these things before buying. Unfortunately they buy then expect everything to change.

  2. Yes ma’am, Suzanne, the train track was there first. You are correct. But as I’m sure you noticed when you read the article, that really isn’t the issue.

  3. Yes ma’am, Suzanne, the train track was there first. You are correct. But as I’m sure you noticed when you read the article, that really isn’t the issue.

  4. Brian Bowen says:

    Why doesn’t the neighborhood association keep a key and a backup key to the gate with a couple of residents for times like this?

  5. It’s the bottom line. The buyers should have researched all of this before buying. How often do the trains come through? How often do they stop possibly blocking entrances and exits? Are there alternative entrances and exits available when the main ones are blocked? Common sense.

  6. It’s the bottom line. The buyers should have researched all of this before buying. How often do the trains come through? How often do they stop possibly blocking entrances and exits? Are there alternative entrances and exits available when the main ones are blocked? Common sense.

  7. John King says:

    Why is it even news? They chose to buy the homes there and that’s the consequences.

  8. Yes they chose to buy homes there but that doesn’t mean they should just have to deal with the train and never say anything. I’m sure the people who live in Carrington, Stockton and everywhere out Roper Rd past Golden Rule feel the same way. About half of the residents of the city have to deal with stopped trains delaying them getting to work or home so you can’t just blame them…… How about the railroad do a better job of fixing the problem?

    I’ve never worked for the railroad but I have dealt with transportation in past jobs. The simple fact is that Somebody isn’t scheduling correctly or the union is too strict on time for engineers or there is a breakdown somewhere in the process. Train stoppages on a daily basis can’t be just par for the course. I just had to deal with one about 30 minutes ago. After dealing with backed up traffic on Watterson and then turning left off Hwy 11 to continue on Chalkville Rd was a complete disaster.

  9. If the train conductors would not stop there and go get food all the time, that would help some! We’ve seen it many times!

  10. If the train conductors would not stop there and go get food all the time, that would help some! We’ve seen it many times!

  11. Trevor Waldo says:

    I wonder what tactics our local mayoral and city council candidates have in store for issues like this at Trussville Springs and others out at Carrington? Our ability to successfully work through these issues with private developers determines our fate when it comes to the growth and prosperity of Trussville. Throwing up our hands and allowing property values to suffer will have a terrible impact. I want to vote for those with a clear plan to permanently resolve issues like this so our citizens are not faced with such idiotic nuances.

  12. Trevor Waldo says:

    I wonder what tactics our local mayoral and city council candidates have in store for issues like this at Trussville Springs and others out at Carrington? Our ability to successfully work through these issues with private developers determines our fate when it comes to the growth and prosperity of Trussville. Throwing up our hands and allowing property values to suffer will have a terrible impact. I want to vote for those with a clear plan to permanently resolve issues like this so our citizens are not faced with such idiotic nuances.

  13. Jeff Jessen says:

    They don’t stop to get food, they get off and eat because that’s where they’ve been told to stop. Do you really think freight trains are allowed to just stop in a town so the crew can get off and eat?? Please don’t admit to believing that!!

  14. Jeff Jessen says:

    They don’t stop to get food, they get off and eat because that’s where they’ve been told to stop. Do you really think freight trains are allowed to just stop in a town so the crew can get off and eat?? Please don’t admit to believing that!!

  15. Jeff Jessen says:

    Why is the gate locked if it goes under the tracks??

  16. Jeff Jessen says:

    Why is the gate locked if it goes under the tracks??

  17. Hook a truck up too the damn gate problem solved keys to the city ridiculous

  18. Hook a truck up too the damn gate problem solved keys to the city ridiculous

  19. Yeah lol he went to get a hair cut too bwahahahahahaha

  20. Yeah lol he went to get a hair cut too bwahahahahahaha

  21. Tired of hearing the whining about this topic…

  22. Trevor Waldo says:

    FYI: the impact I’m referring to is what happens when the smart people sell their homes and “abandon” a neighborhood. Home values in that subdivision will go down and the homes won’t just sit empty, eventually the price will go lower and lower until they are attractive for investors to purchase as rental properties… And by then the developer we blame is long gone and the city, our schools and residents are navigating a different set of challenges.

  23. Trevor Waldo says:

    FYI: the impact I’m referring to is what happens when the smart people sell their homes and “abandon” a neighborhood. Home values in that subdivision will go down and the homes won’t just sit empty, eventually the price will go lower and lower until they are attractive for investors to purchase as rental properties… And by then the developer we blame is long gone and the city, our schools and residents are navigating a different set of challenges.

  24. I’m sure you aren’t as tired of this topic as those who couldn’t get to work or school this morning.

  25. I’m sure you aren’t as tired of this topic as those who couldn’t get to work or school this morning.

  26. Matt Coleman says:

    Really me too ! I also live on camp Coleman behind tracks ,and until the city bought the old goldkist building we had no second way out period ! One time my wife had to get a motel room because she couldn’t get back in ,and we could not get out for 20 something hrs ! So we all are thankful the city will come out and open the gates so we can go through the industrial park when camp Coleman is blocked ! We get blocked at least once or twice a month sometimes ,and if it’s blocked for over 30 minutes the city come out and opens up goldkist property ! And nobody needs to worry about a lost key ! The fire department carries bolt cutters the universal key lol

  27. Matt Coleman says:

    Nothing the media can do carington has already tried the media ,and got fed up and put their own second entrance in .the trussville springs temp entrance can’t be used when the cahaba is up that’s why it’s kept locked . We was told the rr ,and the city only had to provide one crossing ,and if we wanted a crossing bridge or another way out we would have to pay for it ,so I’m very thankful the city will let us out after 30 minutes of the tracks being blocked ! Just part of living behind the tracks as we knew when we moved here ! Springs residents you have a second way out when it’s not flooded ! It could be worse ,and if y’all don’t like it move ,or pay for a usuable second entrance quit crying about it !

  28. Scott, just curious exactly what you are saying the real issue is? The train just doesn’t block Trussville Springs from time to time because it wants too and what about Camp Coleman and all the other neighborhoods down 11 that don’t have a secondary entrance. Why is Trussville Springs more important than any of those neighborhoods. Is it because Trussville Springs is a new neighborhood or is it just the fact that there is a resident in this neighborhood that likes to try and stir up trouble. The trains have blocked the entrance/exit for these neighborhoods for years and no one ever felt the need to call the local television news or local paper to make a stink until now. The emergency exit was built by the developer but he didn’t have permission from Norfolk Southern, they own the property. The entrance is as permanent as anywhere else, it’s paved it just doesn’t have crossing arms. Does this mean that the only way it can be permanent is if there are crossing arms and lights there or because the developer told them that this was not a permanent entrance? I know what was told to then when they moved in was that a second entrance would eventually be built but things are tied up in government right now. No promises on a timeline were made. I don’t live in Trussville any longer but when I did there were times I couldn’t make it to work or when I was in high school I was late and nobody ever felt the need to cause a stink until now. I think these 3 residents that decided to move in this neighborhood should have thought about this being an issue before they bought a house.

  29. Stephanie, the real issue is there is an emergency exit and when residents contacted the city for help, they were told the city didn’t have a key. The fire chief was very clear in stating that wasn’t the case. And, yes, train occasionally stop on the tracks blocking several areas. This exceeded 3.5 hours.

  30. or what if someone was hurt or a fire and they couldnt get to it in time .so i would be whining also….

  31. People, just think, that track l know has been there over 75 years.

  32. As stated before should have thought that through prior to moving there…the city shouldn’t allow ANY developers to start new neighborhoods that don’t have an alternate exit…i actually live in a neighborhood that only has one way in or out….something could happen to block us in, not a train…but an accident or any # of things….it was something we considered before moving to this house.

  33. And when someone needs an ambulance or there is a fire and help can’t get there because the tracks are blocked…. I guess we will just tell the family that loses their house or a loved one “The engineer was over his hours and couldn’t work another 10 minutes to put the train at the yard in Irondale. Plus, the tracks have been there 75 years. Tough luck but you should’ve moved somewhere else.”

  34. Scott Buttram this is not an emergency entrance or exit that was built by the city. And I am sure whoever called the city was not very nice and perhaps the girl that answered the phone just didn’t know they did have a key. But again, what makes Trussville Springs residents more important than anyone else in Trussville that is stuck by a train.

  35. Squeaky wheel gets the grease. Stephanie, if you don’t live here, it’s not your problem anymore.

  36. Laura Waldo says:

    No one is whining, rather we all learn from past mistakes and hopefully (and literally) move forward.

  37. I know my comment has nothing to do with this story as a whole, but the “key” thing in this story really is an example of the left hand not knowing the right hand is doing at city hall. It is time for Trussville to stop electing re-treads and to get a progressive city government/leadership into city hall.

  38. Matt Coleman says:

    And this is the city’s fault how again

  39. Matt Coleman says:

    Let’s hear all the reasons why it’s the city’s fault ,and the elected officials ! You can elect all the officials all you want ! That won’t change a thing if it’s not the city’s responsibility to pay for yalls second entrance ,and if they do there’s about three or four different subdivisions that would expect it to ! Y’all should just be glad y’all have a temporary entrance that the city can open key or not that gate can be opened with bolt cutters ! I know as a camp Coleman resident I’m very thankful for our second way out it could be worse there is subdivisions that only have one way out !

  40. Bob Pyle says:

    Put the gate across the tracks that’ll stop the trains

  41. Some of these comments are comical.. so I guess the train should proceed after the dispatcher has told them to stop possibly causing a head on collision with another train.. I’m sure that would keep the exit blocked for a lot longer than an hour or two. And if you really believe the train crew is just stopping to eat you need to do some research before opening your mouth because you’re just making yourself look really stupid by speaking on something you obviously don’t know anything about!!

  42. 1st world problems hahaha

  43. They knew the chances when they moved there.

  44. After watching a train slow down before crossing North/South Chalkville Rd at Golden Rule and Hardee’s a man with a bright high viz vest on opened a door on the train jumped off the train and proceeded to walk to Hardee’s. The train never actually came to a complete stop. I just so happened to get in line behind the man with the high viz vest on in Hardee’s as his radio kept blurting out for him to hurry up after 4-5 mins in the line. Then the train whistle started blowing about every 30sec. Being curious and kinda irritated I asked the man if it was ok to stop traffic and freight for a biscuit and a cup of coffee. He had no comment along with his frustrated stare. By the time the man headed back to get on the train about 5 train cars had crossed the road and the traffic was backed up to HWY 11 being it was around 7:30 AM. When the man got back on the train it took off as it appeared the only thing holding the train and traffic up was a biscuit and a cup of coffee. So yes I do believe they stop as they may see a small window of opportunity to stop and get some grub being I have seen it first hand. Have seen it more than once in the same location as well

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