Sunday, March 26, 2023

A specific part of Houston is plagued by stopped trains blocking intersections

Houston Landing:

It’s a running joke: If you live in the East End, you have a “stopped train” story. I’ve heard them all. Kids throwing bikes under train cars to reach McReynolds Middle School – just a few yards from the track – in time for class. 


Houston Fire Department Chief Samuel Peña says that as recently as two months ago, his department experienced, on average, “96 instances a month where our crews were either delayed or they had to reroute because of blocked crossings.” The obstructions added up to 10 minutes to response times. 

The problem is so persistent for Houston Fire Station 18 that crews installed a camera allowing them to check whether streets are blocked by a stopped train as they load up to respond to a call. But even that’s not perfect. Trains that appear to be in motion at the time a call comes in can grind to a halt by the time a fire engine reaches the intersection.