“It’s dangerous,” Issue at railroad crossing leaves local drivers stuck for hours

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DEL CITY, Okla. - An issue at a local railroad crossing had some drivers waiting for hours on Tuesday morning.

Cars and trucks were backed up as far as you could see as drivers waited for a freight train, which was stopped at the crossing near N.E. 10th St. and Vicki Dr. in Del City.

"This morning, it was an hour and a half," said Gary Gibson, a truck driver.

"I've been sitting here waiting on this train for two hours," said Chad Gilley, another truck driver.

"It was good 'til we got here. We've been sitting here for two hours and 30 minutes right now, waiting on this train," Ralph Thompson, another commercial driver, told News 4.

Watco Companies, the operator of the train, told KFOR the train stopped due to a mechanical malfunction. The issue resulted in a three-hour delay.

Under normal circumstances, officials with the Oklahoma Corporation Commission said a three-hour delay would be against the law.

In fact, the OCC said trains cannot block a crossing for more than 10 minutes.

However, malfunctions are an exception to the law, which means Watco Companies is not facing any punishment.

But, some drivers aren't buying the story.

"No, I don't believe that for one minute, because this happens so frequently," Gibson said.

Gibson said he's been held up by the same train on the same street too many times and he's fed up.

"Not only is it an inconvenience, it's dangerous," he said.

The Department of Transportation limits the amount of hours truckers are allowed on the road, and they tell us a quarter of it was eaten up at the railroad crossing.

"Well, I lost three hours in the day, and they only allow us 11 hours driving on 14-hour workdays. If you can't get it done in that day, you're stuck," Thompson said.

Truckers are also stuck losing out on hundreds of dollars.

"This probably cost me a load today, I probably lost about 300 bucks just sitting here waiting on these people," Thompson said.

If someone has a complaint to make, they should document the length of time the crossing was blocked and exactly when and where the blockage occurred and send it to the Oklahoma Corporation Commission.

The information can be submitted as a complaint by clicking on the 'Complaints' tab on occeweb.com, or contact Paul Swigart in the Railroad Dept at p.swigart@occemail.com or 405-522-0143.

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