Stuck by a train? Try this app

Alabaster leaders are encouraging local residents to download an app or contact the CSX Railroad company directly when they see blocked crossings. (File)

Alabaster leaders are encouraging local residents to download an app or contact the CSX Railroad company directly when they see blocked crossings. (File)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

Alabaster leaders are encouraging the city’s residents to download an app, or to contact the CSX Railroad company directly, to alert authorities of blocked railroad crossings.

Alabaster City Administrator George Henry said he recently met with CSX officials to discuss the possible extension of Fulton Springs Road to U.S. 31. During the meeting, Henry said he discussed the city’s issue with blocked railroad crossings in high-traffic areas – such as on Alabama 119 near Thompson Intermediate School and at the intersection of U.S. 31 and Alabama 119.

“During this meeting he suggested I download the federal railroad administration app,” Henry wrote in an email. “We continue to need help creating awareness of railroad blockages, etc.”

Henry said the CSX representative encouraged local residents to download the free “Rail Crossing Locator” app on the iTunes store. Through the app, users can view all nearby railroad crossings, view historical data about each crossing – including collision reports – from the U.S. Department of Transportation database and notify the Federal Railroad Administration of blocked crossings.

To download the app, search for “Rail Crossing Locator” in the iTunes store, or visit https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/rail-crossing-locator/id643005214?mt=8.

Local residents can also contact CSX directly to report blocked crossings by emailing tellcsx@csx.com or calling the company at 877-835-5279.

Henry said the tracks running parallel to Shelby County 17 are owned by Norfolk Southern.

“If someone sends a notification email from within the app, please cc cityhall@cityofalabaster.com,” Henry wrote in an email. “We will use these submissions in our meetings with state and federal representatives.”