Kids getting home late due to train on the tracks blocking bus

Updated: Aug. 28, 2019 at 4:30 PM CDT
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ESSEX, Mo. (KFVS) - It’s a situation that would send any parent into a panic, kids more than hour late getting home from school because of a train blocking a railroad crossing.

Now, the school superintendent is calling for change.

“To get a bus, a 72 passenger bus to turn around on a two lane street is not possible,” said Frank Killian, Superintendent of Richland Schools in Essex.

He said on Monday afternoon a train stopped on the tracks cause a bus to sit at a railroad crossing for more than an hour.

“We made several calls trying to get someone to come out and move the train we called the union pacific railroad police,” said Killian, “we also called the number that’s on the crossing arm itself they said they would get back to us and see if they could do anything.”

He told me after the driver and students sat for 45 minutes with no air conditioning, he called local authorities to see if they could help.

"Finally someone came out and broke the train, separated the train so we could cross the tracks,” said Killian.

Killian said this isn’t just about kids.. this could be a big problem had it been an emergency situation.

“If someone in that house is having a heart attack and the ambulance needs to get to them an hour later that person is probably dead,” said Killian.

I reached out to Union Pacific and a spokeswoman for the company says a mechanical issue with the train caused the problem.

Killian said he understands things like this happen but he think the railroad company should have done more.

“It’s something that is easily fixed because the trains can be easily broke apart when they know it’s going to be sitting there it would just be nice for this to not happen to other schools, ,other kids or other people that in need in an emergency,” said Killian.

The spokeswoman for Union Pacific said they have a 24/7 number people can call to report railroad crossing concerns.

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