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CSX railroad

April 25, 2013 - 4:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in CSX railroad.

Somewhere along the line, it appears communication between CSX and county officials failed, according to Tim Hens, county highway superintendent.

Hens said he was informed a month or so ago that CSX and would be doing rail work in Genesee County, but the CSX official in Rochester assured Hens only one or two crossings would be shut down at a time.

Last night, seven consecutive crossings -- from Wortendyke Road to the Erie County line -- were closed because of the repairs and this morning seven crossings remained closed and a CSX supervisor expected at least some crossings to be closed tomorrow.

"The guy in Rochester is a great guy and he's always been cooperative," Hens said. "We had a verbal agreement not to close all the crossings and to notify us ahead of time."

The notification to the county did specify that Colby, Fargo and Ellinwood would be closed, but not all seven crossings at once, Hens said.

Hens has been traveling and hasn't been able to speak directly with CSX officials this week.

Hens is under the impression from county officials who've had contact with the CSX headquarters in Jacksonville, Fla., that corporate honchos overruled local supervisors and ordered all the crossings be closed at once to reduce costs on the project.

In response to inquires from The Batavian, a CSX official contacted us early this afternoon and promised to provide more information later, but has not yet called back.

Hens called the mass closing of the crossings "ridiculous."

It affects residents, school buses and emergency responders. Detours can take 20 minutes or longer with all the crossings closed.

In the past, Hens said, he's never required CSX to apply for work permits to close down crossings. Typically, since CSX owns the right-of-way through the crossing, it wasn't clear that the county could require a permit. However, Hens recently learned that Monroe County requires CSX to receive permits, so Hens will be researching the legal aspect of that and anticipates requiring permits in the future.

UPDATE: Here's a statement from Sheriff Gary Maha --

Dispatch talked to them last night and they said some of the crossings would be open at midnight. We knew this could not be true as a deputy stopped at one of the crossings and it was all torn up. He was told some may be opened today if they could do paving. I talked to a Roadmaster out of Rochester and he was very apologetic and stated this isn't the way CSX does business. He stated corporate out of Jacksonville started something new, which was working 24 hours a day to get the work done. I stressed our concerns with not timely notifying 9-1-1 and local officials. I followed up with a letter today.

UPDATE: Here's a statement we received from CXS this evening --

As part of its ongoing commitment to ensuring safe and reliable rail freight transportation, CSX is in the process of conducting track maintenance on its rail line through Genesee County, replacing crossties. This is routine work that is conducted on a regular basis across CSX’s 21,000-route-mile network. As part of that work, CSX is resurfacing selected highway-rail grade crossings across the line.

Simultaneously closing groups of crossings enables the track work to progress more quickly and minimize the total closure time at any one crossing. CSX crews are working around the clock in an effort to expedite the project. The current work schedule should allow the Colby and Fargo grade crossings to open this evening. The Ellinwood, Wilkinson and Wortendyke crossings are expected to open tomorrow evening.

In planning for this work, CSX representatives notified local officials in Genesee County and Batavia on April 12. The work schedule was approved the following day with the understanding that the Upton Road crossing would remain open for the duration of the project. CSX also routinely confirms with area emergency management centers the actual highway-rail grade crossings that will be closed as a result of a track maintenance project on the day the work actually is scheduled to begin.

April 25, 2013 - 12:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, pembroke, corfu, CSX railroad.

Two of the group of railroad crossings between the Genesee and Erie County line that had been closed reopened this morning by 9, but the rest remain closed and according to a CSX manager at Wortendyke Road, will remain closed through tomorrow.

Upton and Snipery roads are open.

Route 77, which had been partially closed for some repair work was open at 10:30 a.m.

The closures are affecting travel for residents, bus drivers, and of course, emergency responders

We requested comment from the CSX media center last night and again today but have yet to get a response.

Crossing above: Wortendyke Road.

UPDATE: As soon as I hit save on this, a representative from CSX called. He needed to get more information so he could get us more information. We'll update this post accordingly when we hear back.

Wilkinson Road

Ellinwood Avenue

Colby Road

Fargo Road

April 24, 2013 - 10:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in genesee county, CSX railroad.

Emergency responders in Genesee County are feeling a little stress tonight over what is apparently an unexpected closure of six railroad crossings on the CSX line that stretches east and west along Route 33.

Reportedly, a contractor is replacing railroad ties and the crossings at Wortendyke, Upton, Wilkinson and Colby roads and Ellinwood Avenue have been torn up and are unpassable as a result.

The work means that fire departments that have portions of their districts south of the CSX line -- Batavia, East Pembroke and Corfu -- cannot easily and quickly get to some portions of their districts. Darien is cut off from a northern portion of its district. If Pembroke, Indian Falls and Alabama were needed in some southern parts of the county, their response times could be delayed.

Mutual aid from neighboring fire departments is often critical in emergency situations, and right now the Alexander and Darien fire departments are facing the possibility that vital emergency mutual aid could be delayed until the crossings are repaired.

The crossing closures could also impact response times for Mercy EMS and local law enforcement.

We have a call into the nighttime media contact for CSX but have yet to receive a call back.

According to a dispatch supervisor, the county was not notified until this morning about the closures and told the roads would reopen tonight. When troopers and deputies went to the confirm the closures, contractors said the closures will remain in effect until at least the morning, and possibly longer if the rain continues.

"We all understand they need to do the work," dispatcher Gary Diegelman said. "It's just the manner they're doing it that is concerning."

UPDATE Thursday, 6:30 a.m: A deputy informs dispatch that he spoke with the work crew and is informed the crossings will be closed all day and possibly into tomorrow.

UPDATE Thursday 8:55 a m.: Upton and Snipery have reopened.

April 24, 2013 - 6:20pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Darien, corfu, east pembroke, CSX railroad.

Some railroads crossings of the CSX line in Genesee County will be temporarily closed this evening in portions of the Town of Batavia, Darien, Corfu and East Pembroke.

Railroad crossings will be closed to all traffic on Wortendyke, Upton, Wilkinson and Colby roads, and Ellinwood Avenue, and possibly at other locations along that rail route.

The closure is expected to last until approximately midnight.

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