Stopped train clears tracks after blocking main road for 31 hours in Marshall County

Published: Nov. 18, 2021 at 7:08 PM EST
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BURR OAK, Ind. (WNDU) - Over the last two days, many people passing through the town of Burr Oak were left searching for a way to get out.

“Is there anyway around it?,” several drivers asked.

According to Marshall County Commissioner Kevin Overmeyer, a Norfolk Southern train was stopped and blocking the main road for 24 hours.

“This train has been parked here since 4:30 yesterday (Wednesday) morning and hasn’t moved,” Overmeyer says.

The reason: railroad officials say engineers ran out of time.

“I learned today that they don’t have any crews. The crew hit their time limit so they had to stop their train,” Overmeyer explained.

But railroad crews could not have did it in a more vulnerable spot, in the middle of State Road 17, also known as the lifeline between Plymouth and Culver.

“Emergency vehicle access, this is the main access,” Culver Fire Chief Terry Wakefield says.

To make matters worse, when 16 News Now arrived to the scene Thursday morning, a driver was found passed out behind the wheel of a pickup truck while waiting for the tracks to clear, leaving Overmeyer no choice but to call the cops.

“There was a truck parked out here in the front and with his hood up. The guy was kind of unresponsive and passed out,” Overmeyer says.

That individual was later given a sobriety test and then arrested, adding to the chaos that already stood still.

“In 30 years, I’ve never seen anything like this. The tracks blocked for any longer than this,” Wakefield says.

However after making several calls to railroad crews, the road reopened just before 11:30 a.m. Thursday morning leaving Overmeyer breathing a sigh of relief.

“It is just great to have the tracks back open. Like I said earlier, it is a lifeline between Culver and Plymouth to the hospital up there. And to have this back opened up for emergency use, it’s comforting to know that it’s open back up now,” Overmeyer says.

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