WORKING FOR YOU: Roanoke Co. neighbors ‘cautiously optimistic’ about train troubles

ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – Train troubles seem to have come to a halt – at least, hopefully, for residents in one Roanoke County neighborhood.

People living in the Bonsack community reached out to 10 News when a train on Layman Road was blocking their only way to and from their homes, sometimes multiple times a week.

The train put people’s lives on hold for sometimes hours, but now the tracks seem to be a little bit emptier.

“Obviously bringing it to the attention of the news was really because we had done all of the other things,” neighbor Aimee McAllister said. “We had reached out to the emergency contacts, we had contacted VDOT, we had reported it with the Federal Railroad Administration.”

After 10 News reached out to local delegates, Del. Sam Rasoul expressed concern.

“Being blocked in, that is something not to be taken lightly,” Del. Rasoul said. “We immediately responded with a letter to Norfolk Southern.”

It didn’t take long before there was a reply. Norfolk Southern shared a statement with 10 News saying:

“Our goal is always to keep our trains moving safely and minimize any inconvenience to communities. Special instructions have been issued to all train crews in the territory to ensure that Layman Road is not blocked, and to ensure that crews remain aware of the issue. Trains that are long enough to potentially block the crossing are being instructed to wait at another location to ensure that this crossing is not blocked. We encourage residents to call our 24/7 Police Communications Center at 1-800-453-2530 if they encounter any issues there or at any other crossing.”

Norfolk Southern

“They responded, Norfolk Southern, saying that they won’t let this happen again,” Del. Rasoul said. “We’re going to keep a close eye on it and make sure that people have access.”

Neighbors said if this rings true, it’s not only going to improve their safety but also their peace of mind.

“I’m cautiously optimistic that this will yield the results that we were hoping for,” McAllister said.

About the Author

Amy Cockerham joined the 10 News team in January 2023.

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