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Train stalled in the West End neighborhood for six days finally moves

Stopped train finally moves after six days
Published: Nov. 3, 2021 at 8:42 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - A train that had several intersections blocked in the West End neighborhood has finally moved after sitting on the track for six days.

It’s been quite the headache for those living in West End.

They are relieved the train has moved, but they’re hesitant to celebrate because they believe it can and will happen again.

“Finally!”

After several reports from WBRC, sighs of relief as the Norfolk Southern train finally moves after being stalled in the West End neighborhood for six days.

It’s been a terrible ordeal for Sharon Wright.

“I get stressed if I’m late for my doctor’s appointments. So, when I got out, I couldn’t go down the normal route to get to the freeway, so I had to go down by Princeton around the round about to get to West End to get to Brookwood and I was almost late…and that kind of makes me…that’s stressful to me I don’t like to be late,” said Sharon Wright.

Wright said her trip to the doctor normally takes about 15 minutes, but the stalled train added 30 minutes to her commute.

Captain Bryan Harrell with Birmingham Fire and Rescue said people need to learn alternate routes in the neighborhood.

“Know a primary route, and secondary, and even third routes how to get to places. We even find that sometimes in doing accidents on the streets people don’t know how to get home…you know…they only know one route, so we do suggest if you’re living somewhere know several different routes…several ways to get to your destination,” said Captain Harrell.

Tiffany Lewis said stalled trains in the neighborhood are an ongoing problem and worries it will happen again.

“I’m not very confident that it will remain unblocked, but hopefully it will because it has been blocked for years over time. We just have to do what we have to do just continue to speak out and that’s what works…speaking out,” Lewis said.

She said she’s happy the train is finally gone so she can resume normal business at her flower shop.

“It feels good not to have to worry about customers calling, ‘I can’t get past the train,’ the neighbors pulling up, ‘We got a problem with the train.’ Now we have easy access in and out of West End,” Lewis said.

Birmingham city leaders told us the stoppage was due to federal COVID-19 vaccine mandates, which caused a shortage in staffing for the rail company.

But Norfolk Southern said the federal vaccine mandate had nothing to do with the stalled train, but there are shortages and logistical challenges across the country in the train industry.

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