(Monett, Missouri – March 5, 2014)
BNSF Director of Public Affairs Andy Williams admitted Wednesday, on behalf of the railroad company, that a mistake was made when a Chicago-bound BNSF freight train was allowed to block a public roadway for several days. Forcing many Monett, MO-area residents and farmers to drive miles out of their ways to work, shop, school, and to care for farm animals.
Missouri Farm Road 1100 was effectively blocked at the BNSF railroad tracks east of Monett, MO for at least four days, beginning Friday afternoon and lasting until Tuesday evening, when the train was finally moved.
“The train should not have blocked the crossing,” Williams told Monett Times Staff Writer Melonie Roberts. “In general, BNSF breaks the train if it blocks a crossing for 30 minutes or more. It should have been broken,” Williams continued.
“Whether it was a mechanical issue or due to weather up toward Chicago, I don’t know,” he told Roberts. “Either way, the crew should have notified local law enforcement officials if the train was going to block access for an extended period of time or broken the train to allow access.”
Crossing signals flashed and bells rang continuously for at least 48 hours, causing considerable disturbance for residents within earshot of the BNSF/FR 1100 crossing.