Tampa morning commuters fed up with long train delays - WFLA News Channel 8

Tampa morning commuters fed up with long train delays

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TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

People who live and work near a train crossing on Sligh Avenue say they're constantly late for work and it's not their fault. They blame it on a train.

Each morning, a CSX train blocks Sligh Ave. near Occident during their daily commute. They say it often closes the road down for more than a half-hour at a time while it unloads automobiles at a distribution center.

"Every time I see this train I just get really upset," said driver Walter Green.

Trish Moore works at a large call center less than 100-feet from the tracks. She called 8 On Your Side to complain.

"I decided that maybe it's time to blow the whistle on the train itself," explained Moore.

8 On Your Side timed the train two days last week. It arrived at the crossing Wednesday around 8:45 a.m. It left 32 minutes later. On Friday, the train arrived a little later and stayed longer for 36-minutes.

"It's never at the same time, so you can never predict it," said Moore.

Several people who live and work around here say critical time is wasted when they're trying to get to work. 8 On Your Side watched as dozens of drivers made illegal u-turns and a few pedestrians climbed between rail cars to try to get to their jobs on time.

"Everybody in my department says ‘the train, the train, the train is holding us up'," said pedestrian Garrett Paulfey.

CSX Spokesman Gary Sease says the rail cars on this train are longer than average because they're carrying automobiles as cargo.

"This creates a situation in which the train - depending on the number of rail cars - could stretch over that crossing for several minutes until the automobile distribution center can accept the train," Sease explained in a written statement.

He said drivers could see their delays shortened soon.

"We are working to try to coordinate train arrivals as smoothly as possible to limit the public inconvenience," explained Sease.

"I would love to see something done about it. I know a lot of people would," said Moore.

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