Romulus residents worried about train delays slowing first responders

- A frustrating and potentially dangerous problem is upsetting Romulus residents.

They complain about getting stuck at railroad crossings and can delay first responders trying to get to the scene of an emergency.

The way the city is laid out, the train tracks divide it - and waiting for a train can take a long time.

And it could be even more of a drain on business with Penske, Mopar, and a new Amazon facility being built there in Romulus.

Mayor LeRoy Burcroff said that those companies need the trains 

"I love trains, I love commerce, but public safety has to be first," he said.

And there is a public safety issue.

And Huron Township to the south could not put out a fire because it's rigs got caught by the train.

"I'll listening to my scanner at home and listen to our first responders, and often they are stopped," Burcroff said. "They are trying to help people on the other side and they have the boundary of those tracks until they go by."

The train crossing is owned and managed by CSX out of Illinois.

"We're trying to get them to step up and offer solutions, like cameras so our people can steer around where the train tracks are blocked," Burcroff said. 

Officials in Romulus say there are tire grants, essentially federal money to create some transportation over the tracks. But first, the city, county, state and feds have to agree - and that process could take a long time.

Mayor Burcroff says a fix could cost up to $30 million. CSX did not return phone calls. 

Officials are hoping for a solution, but a town hall meeting to get the public involved may be needed.


 

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