GREENSBURG — A stalled train blocked street crossings at Monfort, South Michigan, Franklin and Broadway on Monday night for about two hours near the downtown area.
Greensburg Fire Department (GFD) Chief Scott Chasteen told the Daily News that the department had a fire engine in place on the south side of the tracks within minutes of receiving notice of the stalled train.
“We communicated via radio as to which crossings were open and which weren’t,” Chasteen said, allowing the GFD to move a truck east and west to an open crossing.
The train stopped at 7 or 7:30 p.m., according to Chasteen, and didn’t get back underway until 9:30 or so. The train’s issues were severe enough to require the railway company to bring in an outside maintenance crew.
Chasteen was confident the residents on the south side of the tracks were never in any peril from the blockage. “We put an engine with a three-man crew at Five-Points Tire at Poplar and Michigan,” the chief said.
Chasteen acknowledged that all the city’s nine street crossings could potentially become blocked by a sufficiently long train, but again expressed confidence such an occurrence wouldn’t present an insurmountable obstacle. Such trains have, in fact, run through Greensburg and will undoubtedly come through again in the future.
“If they [the railway company] foresee a train coming that large, they notify us and we position a vehicle well in advance,” the chief explained. “This train [on Monday night] wasn’t that big.”
The chief also pointed out that there are several other township and county fire departments that have direct access to the south side of the Greensburg train tracks. In the event the GFD needed help during a track blockage event, the department wouldn’t hesitate to call for help from one of those departments.