Mom says stopped trains in Jacksonville's Dinsmore neighborhood put her son's life at risk

By: Russell Colburn , Action News Jax

Updated:

Dinsmore neighbors say CSX trains are stopped on the railroad tracks every night, blocking neighborhood streets.

Action News Jax spent hours at the intersection of Moncrief Dinsmore Road and Trout River Boulevard. We saw a CSX train stop and delay traffic for 40 minutes.

“My son has epilepsy,” said neighbor Edith Norris. “I’ve called 911, and I can get him to the hospital before they can because the trains are stopping up them getting to my house.”

Norris is used to having the same conversations with dispatchers about her 13-year-old son, Javon.

“Do you know what to do?’ I’m, like, ‘Yes I know what to do. He has epilepsy, but he’s been seizing for three minutes now,’ but the rescue can’t get to me,” Norris said.

Action News Jax found out Jacksonville police regularly write citations for trains blocking roads.

But, at $110 each, the citations are likely not a real burden for a company worth billions.

“They’re federally regulated, so local governments don’t have a lot of power over them?” Action News Jax reporter Russell Colburn asked Action News Jax law and safety expert Dale Carson.

“No, they have none,” Carson said. “And actually, (CSX doesn’t) have to pay the citations, so it’s a futile effort.”

In a statement, CSX said, in part: “There is a junction with another railroad in the area (Action News Jax) referenced, where CSX trains may be forced to stop if they do not have clearance to safely cross the tracks. Our goal is to minimize these instances … we apologize for the inconvenience."

But neighbors don’t want apologies, they want action.

“This is crazy,” Norris said. “I’ve considered selling my home because of the trains. It’s ridiculous.”

Since railroads are federally regulated, Action News Jax reached out to U.S. Reps. John Rutherford and Al Lawson, as well as U.S. Sens. Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio.

So far, none have addressed the issue of accountability.

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