State, local officials reach resolution with NS on blocked crossings

Photo of a train blocking a railroad crossing at Jonesboro Road in McDonough (Georgia DOT photo).

Local leadership and general assembly members announced over the weekend they had reached a resolution with Norfolk Southern regarding blocked railroad crossings. Henry County motorists have spent the better part of 2022 dealing with the frustrations of frequently-blocked crossings in McDonough.

Norfolk Southern communicated to the city of McDonough and other officials they have rerouted the train causing the stops.

Blocked Crossings

Blocked crossings had become a common occurrence this year. Any given day one could find numerous Facebook posts alerting others if the train had stopped. Adding to motorists’ frustrations was the train would block several crossings at once. This could include Jonesboro Road, Hampton Street and Racetrack Road all within McDonough. At times, Locust Grove also encountered similar delays.

Though a stopped train cannot be avoided from time to time, there should be less instances going forward. Officials from the city of McDonough, city of Locust Grove and members of the general assembly all collaborated to work through the issue with Norfolk Southern. Staff from Henry County Schools and Henry County Development Authority also contributed.

Photo shows a group of local officials and staff meeting with a representative from Norfolk Southern in front of the McDonough Police Department building (special photo).
Local officials and staff meet with Norfolk Southern. (special photo)

Elected Officials’ Response

McDonough Mayor Sandra Vincent thanked all parties involved for their assistance. “I am pleased to announce that after months of sending emails and letters, placing phone calls, and scheduling meetings, the fruits of our collective labor has reached resolution. On [Saturday, December 10], we were informed by Conner Poe, [VP of Governmental Affairs] for Norfolk Southern, that the train line [resulting] in blockages on the rail has been rerouted.” shared the mayor on Facebook. She added the city will continue working towards a notification system for public safety if there is a stopped train.

State Senator Brian Strickland, who represents McDonough, also shared his remarks. “I appreciate Norfolk Southern for hearing our concerns and all of our local and state leaders that collaborated and continue to work together to address this matter.” Strickland also mentioned working towards plans to add track capacity between McDonough and Locust Grove.

Finally, incoming State Representative Lauren Daniel added “because of the bipartisan collaboration between our local, state, and federal officials we were able to each do our part in bringing light to the issue and ultimately getting it resolved for the residents of Henry County. I also plan to continue to look for ways to be proactive so that as the supply chain grows & train lengths get longer over time, we can also get a long term solution in place.” Daniel will represent Locust Grove and portions of McDonough in the state house beginning in January.

Featured image shows a stopped train at the Jonesboro Road railroad crossing. Georgia DOT photo.

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About Clayton 1508 Articles
Clayton Carte is the founder and owner of MHF News. He founded the site in 2017 to highlight transportation projects. Over time, he began covering other topics like new development so residents can best know what’s happening in our community.