According to residents, the railroad crossing has become a dangerous situation for the community, and has already resulted in some life threatening situations.
Anyone who travels Route 2 through Wetzel County has probably experienced traffic tie ups thanks to the CSX railway crossing on the South end of New Martinsville. People living in that area said rail traffic has increased significantly over the past few years.
“They cross about four to five times a day. They can take from fifteen minutes to an hour and it’s completely cutting off all transportation from south of New Martinsville through New Martinsville,” said Miranda Corcoran, New Martinsville resident.
Since there is no adequate detour on Route 2, areas south of the city are completely cut off.
“Paden City, which is South of New Martinsville Doesn’t have an EMS service and we have to rely on New Martinsville and it’s a giant safety concern,” Corcoran said.
New Martinsville Mayor Steven Bohrer said that it’s already causes several life threatening situations with at least one resulting in tragedy .
“We had a fellow die in 2010. He had a heart attack . He had to wait on the train. He died waiting to get across the track,” Bohrer said.
Bohrer said he has been in touch with representatives from the West Virginia Department of Highways and CSX Railways. He said talks have been going well and is hopeful to see results soon.
7News reached out to Csx and they issued a statement saying, in part that they are committed to an open dialogue with city officials and area first responders. The full statement can be found below:
CSX strives to be a good neighbor in communities like New Martinsville, W.V., where we have a long history of working with the city to understand how CSX operations impact the community and try to minimize that impact.
New Martinsville is home to CSX’s Brooklyn Yard, which processes freight that is critical to our customers in the area. Route 2 crosses CSX railroad tracks that lead to the yard, and for safety reasons, trains must adhere to lower speed limits as they enter and leave the yard. CSX representatives met with the mayor and other city officials to understand their concerns about traffic delays on Route 2, and we met with local first responders to make sure they know the best way to contact the railroad if needed.
We understand it can be frustrating for drivers to wait for trains to clear the Route 2 crossing, and we do appreciate their patience. CSX is committed to keeping an open dialogue with our neighbors and we value the partnership with community leaders in New Martinsville as we work together to support important industries in West Virginia.
City officials are urging anyone effected by the situation to contact the West Virginia Department of Highways with their concerns