Malfunctioning Railroad Crossing Signal Backs Up Highway 29 Traffic

June 13, 2018

Traffic backed up once again Tuesday at the Highway 29 railroad crossing at International Paper in Cantonment, reportedly due to a signal malfunction. reached out to the Florida Department of Transportation and CSX to find out who is responsible for maintaining the signal in proper working condition.

Tanya Branton, public information specialist for FDOT, said the responsibility lies with the railroad. CSX did not respond.

Several North Escambia residents told us early Tuesday afternoon the traffic backup extended well over a mile because the northbound crossing arm was down, while the southbound crossing arm was up. Last week, drivers reported a delay of up to 45 minutes.

Pictured top: Northbound Highway 29 traffic backed up due to a malfunctioning railroad crossing early Tuesday afternoon. Photo for, click to enlarge.


28 Responses to “Malfunctioning Railroad Crossing Signal Backs Up Highway 29 Traffic”

  1. Bonnie Exner on June 15th, 2018 5:56 pm

    I believe there is a state,country law,ordinance that gives a time limit to how long a train can stop car traffic…if that was enforced and a penalty tied to CSX,We might get their attention..HIT THEM IN THE POCKETBOOK AND WE WILL HAVE LESS VIOLATIONS AND MORE MONIES IN THE COFFERS!!

  2. BG on June 13th, 2018 11:04 pm

    I want a bridge over the tracks….just saying…..because its been a problem for years

  3. Oddball on June 13th, 2018 10:44 pm

    Maybe you all should think roundabout.
    You know go round about some other way…..

    So stressful and angry. Smile once in awhile.

  4. B on June 13th, 2018 7:44 pm

    The train was stuck on the Airport road tracks last friday… I know it sat there for 30mins with no movement.. Then this morning it sat for atleast 10 or 12 mins when i guess it was switching tracks?

  5. DDD on June 13th, 2018 7:24 pm

    Why did no one contact the Highway Patrol or Sheriff’s Department to come assist? They do assist when traffic signals go out. Just curious.

  6. Denny on June 13th, 2018 6:30 pm

    You can’t expect the County to do something when it has no jurisdiction. This is between CSX and the State of Florida. Call your state representative!

  7. Angel on June 13th, 2018 6:13 pm

    This isn’t just about a faulty signal. This train stops traffic routinely for long periods of time. Frustrating aggravating. Problem for any first responders. Something needs to be done. But we all know it won’t happen. Traffic is getting so so so bad on 29. Have lived here all my life so I know. When St Regis (that’s what it was called back then) was built they should have built on the water. Maybe one day someone will address this problem, and work toward correcting it. Somehow.

  8. SUNSHINE 1 on June 13th, 2018 5:22 pm


  9. David Huie Green on June 13th, 2018 3:56 pm

    Put a tunnel under it.

  10. just sayin on June 13th, 2018 2:16 pm

    Michael O. I can read and figured all topics are fare game since it all boils down to a train, train tracks and traffic delays.

  11. Kingsfield Resident on June 13th, 2018 12:33 pm

    With increasing development into North Escambia County, both the county and CSX should work to improve traffic conditions. I don’t mine waiting but when I am the only family member who is available to pick up a young child from her school bus in Beulah, I can’t afford to sit on Kingsfield while a very long train crawls at 3 mph through the intersection or stops altogether for 10 minutes. I’ve adjusted my travel time over and over to avoid this but CSX seems to have no schedule. It doesn’t matter which way I go I still have to cross the tracks to get from a Chemstrand to Beulah area. Something has got to be done. Widening the roads only allows for more vehicles to be trapped, literally trapped, because of the trains moving during peak hours. Poor planning by city developers when train tracks still run all the way to downtown in this day and age.

  12. Michael O. on June 13th, 2018 12:31 pm

    Funny that most people commenting on here are complaining about the trains and the paper mill… the issue was clearly stated that it was a MALFUNCTIONING crossing arm. Lol. People always want to complain about something, even when they have no idea what it s they are talking about.

  13. just sayin on June 13th, 2018 11:04 am

    It is utterly ridiculous that these trains are allowed to service the paper mill at times of heavy traffic. This is a total lack of concern and respect for the citizens of this county. This is a practice that should only be allowed during the wee hours of the morning. The paper mill should alter the schedule so as not to effect so many peoples daily lives. Its not enough that they pollute our water and air but to delay us on top of that. This paper mill does not give two hoots about us at all.

  14. anne 1of2 on June 13th, 2018 9:33 am

    I love trains! They slow us down, give us time to think CSX has some long trains and they need to adjust their schedules for the least amount of traffic times, that wouldn’t kill them.

  15. Lewis T on June 13th, 2018 9:23 am

    The state and the paper mill have the responsibility. Possible solution. Move the spur to the mill south about 100yds. Then put an over surpass on 29 over the spur.
    It can be done with state funding and cooperation from the mill as well as a willingness to get it done. No businesses will be effected.

    If the plant sells the golf course for commercial development it would help finance the new spur and be an economic boom for decades of neglected Cantonment.

    Hope Mr. Barry and others are listening. People need a solution!

  16. yaknelle on June 13th, 2018 9:15 am

    Nothing new…..CSX loves to back up traffic on 29 every day whether the crossing arms work or not. All that road work, and the road dept. isn’t smart enough to put in an overpass to keep traffic moving on Hwy 29 which is an important entrance and exit to the Pensacola area.

  17. Rail on June 13th, 2018 9:10 am

    The railroad has been there way before hwy 29 so foot should be held responsible for not making a overpass there and anything mechanical is going to break so that is just Murphy’s law

  18. Beck on June 13th, 2018 8:52 am

    This is why, if I see traffic I automatically turn around and go down kings field. Any delay is usually long around 5 or so.

  19. Christopher Saul on June 13th, 2018 8:33 am

    Not only does it malfunction quite often after a storm, They always come through to International paper at the times of the busiest traffic. I have set there waiting for 30 minutes at times.

  20. Cottage Hill Resident on June 13th, 2018 8:27 am

    Cannot the malfunctioning arm be manually raised in an emergency?

  21. Concerned on June 13th, 2018 8:23 am

    How long has this railroad crossing been there? We all have had to wait for it at some time or another. The CSX can’t keep an employee there at all times, we the public need to be patient. If you are in that big of a hurry cut back to Quintette Road and go through Pace.

  22. DLo on June 13th, 2018 8:05 am

    They should not be allowed to block the road at high traffic times of day, they had it blocked a week or so ago at 5:00 in the afternoon, it is ridiculous.

  23. 429SCJ on June 13th, 2018 7:58 am

    It is time for an overpass, where is the County Commission regarding this problem?

    This is a problem that is growing more each day as population and traffic density steadily increases.

  24. Whisperjet on June 13th, 2018 7:05 am

    …2 years ago , CSX had Becks lake crossing closed twice for over 3 hours…One of those delays also blocked Eden lane , Williams Ditch rd. And Mckenzie rd. blocking all Cottage Hill ttaffic as well…At Becks Lake rd., there is no other way out since ECUA secured all of their property .obviously , when this happens , no emergency vehicles can get thru..go figure…

  25. joy bryant on June 13th, 2018 6:33 am

    Hwy 29 is a state highway – right? well if it isn’t the RR crossing bar it is a damned train that is sitting and backing up going forward and backing up traffic for miles – and the county and obviously the state won’t do a thing…. I am north of those tracks and unless I want to drive 90 to Pace and Woodbine to Quintette to 29 to get home then you sit forever how long they chose for you too. THEN let’s add that with the much needed but nonetheless construction on 29 what a MESS Our opinions just don’t matter…..overheat your car, spend the gas, pollute the air – it is all ok

  26. CW on June 13th, 2018 6:28 am

    They really need some type of trestle over 29.

  27. Fred on June 13th, 2018 3:21 am

    It appears, from this and other crossings, that CSX doesn’t care and isn’t accountable to anyone for violating the law regarding how long crossings can be closed on highways.

  28. Gary Hebert on June 13th, 2018 1:20 am

    This not the first time this has happened.when train 8s crossing usually their is a 20 minute delay , CSX should be held responsible

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