A Norfolk Southern train blocked in a community in Jefferson County for almost a week, forcing residents to travel nearly half an hour out of the way to leave or get home. Reports say the train has now been moved.
The train was stuck on County Road 71 from Wednesday to Monday afternoon. Norfolk Southern told the press the train had to be repaired before it could stop blocking the road.
County Road 71 is the only road in or out of the Cardiff community in Northwestern Jefferson County. What was once a four-minute drive from Cardiff to the nearby town of Brookside turned into a 20-minute drive, which residents said was pothole-laden and dangerous.
Brookside Fire Department and Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office serve the Cardiff community, but the train blockage caused concerns about how an emergency situation could be expediently handled.
Norfolk Southern confirmed to the press on Monday night that the train had been moved, freeing the roadway for the less than 100 people who occupy the Cardiff community.
Residents told the press that several elderly people live in Cardiff. They said kids had trouble boarding school buses, having to crawl under the train to get to the bus stop. The train also impacted their ability to get mail.
Following a February 3 derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, a controlled burn of five derailed cars resulted in a spill of hazardous materials, including 1.1 million pounds of vinyl chloride. The company's safety practices have been under investigation since, and the DOJ is seeking relief and civil penalties. Norfolk Southern's CEO apologized before Congress in March and agreed to pay for damages.
But East Palestine is not the only place Norfolk Southern trains have derailed. Several issues with Norfolk Southern trains have occurred in Alabama this year.
A Norfolk Southern train derailed in Calhoun County in March. Two other Norfolk Southern trains derailed in April, one in Shelby County near Helena and another in Jasper.
The Alabama derailments have occurred amid national scrutiny in the face of the railroad company.
Norfolk Southern is headquartered in Atlanta and owns over 25,000 miles of railroad in the Eastern half of the United States. Several of its largest shareholders, such as Vanguard and BlackRock, have committed to investing with consideration of politically-charged Environmental, Social and Governance scores.
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