What Can Be Done About Trains Blocking Roads In Cantonment?

December 12, 2018

What can be done about trains blocking Highway 29 and other roads in Cantonment?

That’s an issue the Escambia County Commission will tackle during a Committee of the Whole meeting on Thursday.

The big issue lies with the fact stopped trains will block Highway 29 or neighborhoods for extended periods of time.

Express your ideas in the comment section below, or on our NorthEscambia.com Facebook page. We’ll pass your comments along to Escambia County District 5 Commissioner Steven Barry.

Pictured: A CSX train on the Highway 29 crossing at International Paper. Photo for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.


98 Responses to “What Can Be Done About Trains Blocking Roads In Cantonment?”

  1. g on December 16th, 2018 6:07 am

    The simplest solution would be an overpass, unfortunately it would be the most expensive and based on past experience we all know the Escambia County BOCC won’t use money where it’s needed

  2. Chris on December 15th, 2018 6:04 pm

    Build a overpass

  3. BG on December 14th, 2018 9:26 pm

    They should truck stuff into the plant….there for no need for a train………..

  4. Jdub on December 14th, 2018 1:24 pm

    I have thought about this many times when stuck by the train either in Hwy 29 or trying to get home or to town since I live in Cottage Hill area and get stopped often by the train. I don’t mind it when the train is moving and doing what needs to be done. By when they block us from coming/going into our community or sit blocking traffic on Hwy 29 for prolonged periods of time…then I’m bothered by the trains.

    My thoughts of a partial solution is perhaps some type of signage prior to getting to the blocked tracks of Hwy 29 both north and south of the tracks (especially when north bound since your options are limited after Kingsfield) that would give motorists a message that delays are ahead and give us the option to take an alternate route (such as Kingsfield Rd to 297 to hit Muscogee and get around the stopped train). They put these same type of signs on the interstates to inform motorists. There are a few routes that one can take to get around and even bypass the traffic waiting if you know the back roads. It will still be an inconvenience but I would rather keep moving around the long way versus just sitting and waiting for prolonged periods of time. This signage would need to let us know before we get to Kingsfield so we can make our turn so we don’t have to double back. I have pulled many U-turns on 29 to go around.

    As for getting blocked from our community in Cottage Hill, there really needs to be an access road to allow us in out of the community and even the Becks Lake rd folks as well. Yeah, it probably would be crowded during train stopping time but at least it would be something. This blocking of our community’s is unsafe in the event of a major medical emergency.

    We all have our opinions and thoughts. An overpass would be great but we all know that will never happen…so we have to come up with some other type of feasible solution to at least give the motorists a choice before heading that direction.

  5. Donna on December 14th, 2018 12:27 am

    Maybe a train to take loaded box cars to other side of track when loaded ready for pick up
    Then we would have to sit there while they’ve backed up unloaded then back up again to reload isn’t there already two tracks on other side

  6. Al Buchanan on December 13th, 2018 8:58 pm

    Ur right Cantonment resident only a small portion of the switches have anything to do with IP. Overpass would b the solution but that’s not gonna happen so we can quit talking about this. But they dont have to do the switches in peak traffic hours which would help tremendously.

  7. Al Buchanan on December 13th, 2018 8:40 pm

    Speaking to Cantonment resident comment saying IP has nothing to do with the train. Both machines at the mill p4 and p5 make rolls every day of the year to go on those railcars. So they do have everything to do with the trains going in there. For u to say these comments are ignorant is hilarious.

  8. Sharon Bennett on December 13th, 2018 8:11 pm

    I agree with those that think the timing of the switches is the main issue. I work between Cantonment and Molino, and live downtown, so this is my daily route. I don’t know how many times I’ve been stopped by that train when I’m heading home after a long day. It’s very frustrating to say the least. I’ve sat there waiting more than 30 minutes several times. I believe the overpass would be the solution, but those two gas station convenience stores would be the losers. It would cost a lot of money considering all this is at an intersection. Too bad the paper mill is not on the east side of 29… this would solve the problem for 29 traffic. A specific schedule would help me, but not most travelers in the area. Good luck on a solution .. I doubt there is one coming anytime too soon. I know railroads have schedules, but in this case a schedule change makes sense. Don’t do the switches during peak traffic time. I’ve gone through that intersection once the train is finally finished with its dance back and forth and traffic is backed up almost to Winn Dixie to the south. It’s not good!! I’m glad it’s being looked at.

  9. Cantonment Resident on December 13th, 2018 7:59 pm

    So…there are a LOT of ignorant comments on here.

    Let’s clear some things up first.
    -IP has NOTHING to do with the switchyard!
    -If you don’t like the train, then go around! There are at least 3 routes around the tracks at 29, so use them.
    -An overpass is never going to happen, so quit asking for it.

    Now, my thoughts on the trains. I can’t speak for anyone living in cottage hill, or Becks Lake rd, or other areas where there is no alternative, but having grew up north of the tracks, I have NEVER had an issue with the train. To all those who have, and live up 29 north of Muscogee, take a different route! If you can’t figure that out, then get off the road because YOU are the problem!

    I do agree with the TERRIBLE timing of the switch yard and have always hated seeing the train at the busiest times of the day. This can be solved easily by the rail company.

    As far as the trains blocking the only entrance to subdivisions, like what has happened several times to people off old palafox, these are usually extenuating circumstances. There needs to be a better plan put in place for these cases to either get access or move the train. Some coworkers of mine have been trapped for hours behind a train in cottage hill due to these breakdowns and such. It shouldn’t take that long to resolve the situation.

    Another thought is the switching of the cars across 29. There is plenty of room to the south to do the railcar switches from the opposite direction. I don’t understand why they have to switch to the north, across 29. The only issue with this would be blocking access for the trucks coming into IP, but the trucks could be rerouted farther south on IP property.

  10. Citizen on December 13th, 2018 2:23 pm

    stick to a plan, go forward with a the Beulah Beltway and let that be a workaround this problem, start the ROW and don’t take no for an answer from the public in the path of the bypass. Decide on a path and stick to it and do it.

  11. Michael Jones on December 13th, 2018 11:25 am

    It is my understanding that the trains stop and do shift changes. I do not understand why this can not be done with out major interruption to the area. But when they block a road that is the only way to get out of an area this becomes a safety issue (Becks Lake Crossing).

    I understand the problem at IP in Cantonment, but I believe with a little more planning between IP and Railroad company this problem could be reduced.

  12. Honest John on December 13th, 2018 9:40 am

    Sorry folks I don’t think they are going to build an overpass for a train that swaps cars once or twice a day. Besides they would have to hire a firm to do a study, two years to do survey and permits and the way road construction is in Escambia County five years to build.

  13. Greg on December 13th, 2018 7:17 am

    Seems like the Overpass idea previously mentioned by Big John is the most practical solution and probably the least expensive.

  14. Phillip nellums on December 13th, 2018 6:19 am

    The mill and railroad has been there longer than most people that are complaining about it. Why do people move close to the airport and complain about the noise the planes make. Move on a dirt road and fuss because it is not paved. ENOUGH SAID

  15. Howie on December 13th, 2018 12:15 am

    Several years ago my wife and I moved from Molino to Pine Forest Rd. The train blocking the roads in Cantonment was part of our reason to move. Our health has been declining and we need immediate help occasionally. A stalled train could mean life or death. I doubt anyone would spend the money for an overpass or tunnel. Certainly not place this on the taxpayers. An access road on IP’s west side would help reroute stalled traffic between Muscogee Rd and Hwy 29 South near Hwy 95A. The road could be constructed to enter/exit off Muscogee Rd to Hwy 29 near the logging truck entrance. IP is the main reason for the trains so they should spend the money to correct the traffic issue. Change the times of the mill’s loading/unloading or ship out by using trucks and then transfer to trains. Most important is to put into place an emergency response system alerting firetrucks, police and ambulances that the intersection is blocked and take a different route. Someone is going to die waiting on emergency assistance because of the CSX train blocking roads.

  16. Willis on December 13th, 2018 12:14 am

    No doubt it is a problem but very little can be done to address it nor is there anything the mill, county, or state officials can do about it. CSX has a rail yard on the west side of 29 along with Alabama Gulf Coast Railroad’s main line runs through the mill. CSX builds longer trains today to reduce cost, these longer trains have no where to pass one another nor is there tracks within the rail yard long enough for these trains without breaking them apart. I would be willing to say that less than 30 percent of the inconvenience caused by the train has anything to do with the mill. It’s not as simple as some would think such as only allowing certain time frames for allowing CSX to block the intersection, to alter the time the train arrives or departs Cantonment would have some adverse conditions to all trains throughout the southeast. It’s a huge grid with hundreds of thousands of miles that would have to be altered. The FRA is so powerful and normally trumps all other officials or agencies. Good luck

  17. Max Nelson on December 12th, 2018 11:28 pm

    Mr. Steven Barry,
    Which federal entity regulates this section of track across Hwy 29? Since Hwy 29 is a governed by the FDOT, what laws do they have in place to help resolve this issue? Does Escambia county have any authority to help? What easements/permits does CSX and Alabama & Gulf Coast Railway (AGR) have that gives them the authority to stop and prevent the public from travelling this busy section of highway? From my understanding, Alabama & Gulf Coast Railway operates this section of track. What does Alabama & Gulf Coast Railway have to say about this subject? Below is a link to their contacts. Due to the limited right-of-way at this section of road, an overpass and any other roads improvement projects would require years of planning, easement and land from the CSX and other property owners along with millions of dollars in construction cost. Improvements need to happen sooner than later.
    If Alabama & Gulf Coast Railway and CSX do not have the right to stop traffic whenever they want, then some government entity needs to regulate the operating times for this section of track. What are your plans to address this issue with the residence of North Escambia?

    Alabama & Gulf Coast Railway (AGR) – Contacts

  18. AL BUCHANAN on December 12th, 2018 11:14 pm

    DL SEALE if they close the mill its gonna create alot more problems for this area than a set of blocked train tracks be practical dude. The cheap simple solution is force the railroad to do switches at night. I work at the mill dont try to run me out of a job please.

  19. Sharon on December 12th, 2018 10:59 pm

    My only comment on this issue is timing.. it would seem that the times that the trains are coming in and out of the paper mill seem to be during high peak traffic times. I know that every time I get caught by that dang train, stopping, reversing, going forward, stopping, reversing, etc. drives me cray cray.. can we build an overpass over that track???

  20. Janet Horn on December 12th, 2018 10:58 pm

    These trains around the paper mill in Cantonment are very frustrating to people trying to get somewhere on time. They seem to be during the “rush hour” traffic times, especially in the evenings. CSX should be able to schedule these times when there is minimal traffic on Hwy 29.

  21. Northend resident on December 12th, 2018 10:04 pm


  22. ceeyalater on December 12th, 2018 9:57 pm

    Is it possible for the trains to change their schedule to alleviate some of the time spent waiting for the trains to switch and then waiting throught numerous lights in order to get through the intersection? It seems in the past year, I’ve been stopped fir up to 40 minutes between the hours of 4 and 5 pm. Really? At the busiest time of the day? It’s ridiculous that this can’t be scheduled better.

  23. Michael Brooks on December 12th, 2018 9:50 pm

    CSX has a new CEO and he is cutting costs with no regard to anything or anyone except the stockholders (even his own employees). Trains that used to be two miles long are now three and four. The law is on the side of the RR unfortunately and states that they can basically do as they want. It’s a crying shame but it’s a fact.

  24. V on December 12th, 2018 9:30 pm

    Its inconvenient on Hwy 29 for sure, but you CAN turn around and go the long way around Kingsfield to 297A to Muscogee. My issue is the neighborhoods with only one way in or out. I think the railroad co should be required to make a small access road in those neighborhoods that would give us an alternate way in or out. At least in situations when they break down or block the tracks for almost an hour at a time. This has happened to my family on more than one occasion.

  25. J.Larry Seale on December 12th, 2018 9:21 pm

    simple answer:
    close the mill, that will take care
    of the problem………………..


  26. Charlene Ward on December 12th, 2018 8:03 pm

    I’m moving south of the tracks because of this stupid train blocking Hwy 29, I’m tired of it and have had enough of it after 30 years! It didn’t used to block the road multiple ties of the day for up to 45 minutes, but these last few years have just been ridiculous!!

  27. Whisperjet on December 12th, 2018 7:39 pm

    ..make US 29 an expressway ( I-110) from I-10 to I-65..it is gonna happen one day…6 lane to nine and half road a waste of money…

  28. Choo Choo Fly on December 12th, 2018 6:44 pm

    Simply elevate the rail system. Double tracks. Switches. Crossings. All of it.

    Why? Easy.

    Trying to solve highway lane, intersect systems, eminent domain issues, signalization, etc is highl complex. But simply elevating the rail system is far less complex. Simply look at aerial photographs and see which would be less complex.

    And, this is not exclusively a public highway issue to be solved at taxpayer expense. If CSX trains block a first responder vehicle and people are injured, or die (especially en mass), an elevated rail structure may turn out to be very inexpensive.

  29. BIG JOHN on December 12th, 2018 5:24 pm


  30. Becky on December 12th, 2018 4:55 pm

    I can tell you one thing for sure today, I am definitely going down kings field and totally avoiding this train in case anyone has a grudge against this article. I’m not getting stuck today lol

  31. MR REALITY on December 12th, 2018 4:19 pm

    So you move on the other side of train tracks and then trains block the tracks…and now people want it stopped? THINK FOLKS THINK!!! Enjoy your traffic time. We arnt gonna spend 50 million so you guys dont have to be inconvenienced….NO THX

  32. Angi on December 12th, 2018 2:05 pm

    Something really needs to be done about these trains blocking traffic for so long. Emergency vehicles can’t get through and lord forbid, don’t make anybody late for work at walmart!

  33. Kat R on December 12th, 2018 1:56 pm

    in response to Concerned.. yes we need to be patient.. but when you get stuck behind the train and wait up to 45 minutes there, then get moving again, to also get stuck behind people that stop for funeral processions, and then accidents that have happened due to the fact that everyone is fed up with being patient at the railroad tracks and all.. it sucks.. I live out towards Molino, yes we picked out our house that is about an hour away from the base in town, because we wanted to be away from the congestion.. I leave with plenty of time, at least an hour sometimes almost 2 hours before my appts.. but I have been late to them repeatedly due to the trains and funeral processions.. of course, then we cannot be seen as we were late.. so a wasted trip and gas..I realize I mention funeral processions and it will get some people riled up.. I respect the ones that have passed on and are very sorry for their families.. but to be stopped in traffic where there is 4 lanes and a median, is wrong.. yes, I was raised here in Florida.. it is NOT a law to stop for processions like that unless the police are stopping the flow of traffic at a light or intersection.. between the trains and funerals happening, I have to leave my house 3-4 hours ahead of time to hopefully make it to my appts.. that is wrong!

  34. Jim on December 12th, 2018 1:38 pm

    Until a premanant solution can figured put, how about posting a schedule somewhere of when and where blockages will occur. That way people affected can adjust routes and or schedules.

  35. Cantonment raised on December 12th, 2018 1:36 pm

    Changing hook up times till less traffic times would be a good idea. Hwy 29 blocking is not the only deal may times neighbor hoods with only one way in and out have been blocked by trains as well. The big issue and it has happened an emergency and help could not get past train.

  36. Carl on December 12th, 2018 1:00 pm

    Old phone rep, Viaduct is a type of bridge. So, not all bridges are viaducts but all viaducts are bridges. Bridges are structures which are built to cross physical obstacles like a valley, water, or road. Viaducts are a type of bridge that are made of multiple small spans.

  37. BB on December 12th, 2018 12:54 pm

    What Can Be Done About Trains Blocking Roads In Cantonment?

    Block the trains!

  38. Chris on December 12th, 2018 12:53 pm

    What about an App that allows us to see when the trains will be blocking the road. I assume CSX has some type of schedule they follow. With an App we would know to detour around the train.

  39. Eli Peacock on December 12th, 2018 12:48 pm

    Dont have trains

  40. anne 1of2 on December 12th, 2018 12:48 pm

    S bridge for the traffic would have to be cheaper than one which would support a train. This looks to be a very serious situation and CSX needs to be told how many people they are putting in danger. How many lawsuits can they afford?

  41. ensley boy on December 12th, 2018 12:27 pm

    I wonder if the papermill could extend the tracks further on their property thus have the trains the ability to move further on their property and not have to block the road.

  42. April G on December 12th, 2018 12:21 pm

    I live on Beck’s Lake Rd so my family sometimes has a double whammy with the train.
    They have gained funding for an enormous industrial park on Becks Lake (The Bluffs). How many tenants will it have once a VIP tours the site and gets stuck waiting for that train?
    I know IP has a lot of tracks. Maybe they could put down more so that the train doesn’t have to go back and forth? It is so frustrating to wait 10 minutes and have the train stop just shy of clearing the track, just to reverse direction.
    Also, the train operators should never stop the train on the track for personal reasons, short of an emergency. They occasionally stop to go into one of the convenience store for a drink.

  43. Karen M Hughes on December 12th, 2018 12:10 pm

    I think an overpass should be implemented. Yes, it takes time, and money, but it is the easiest & most assured means to an end. The blockage occurs several times a day without an apparent schedule. I substitute teach at Jim Allen Elementary school and frequently the train will block Hwy 29 just as school has let out – the volume of traffic can bee outrageous at 2 pm each day without the blockage, but with it? Traffic on Hwy 29 North/South as well as on Old Palafox (the road the school is on) is backed up for a good length of time. Muscogee Rd is completely blocked off. No emergency vehicles of any kind are able to reach their destination. Build that overpass!

  44. David on December 12th, 2018 11:41 am

    This has been looked at by people who understand feasible solutions and none have been found. It ain’t gonna happen.
    I’ve lived just north of the crossing since 1965. Just deal with it.

  45. OldPhoneRep on December 12th, 2018 11:37 am

    Why can’t they have a viaduct, aka overhead bridge for the train to cross over the highway, or vice versa. Other highways have that.

  46. L. Dove on December 12th, 2018 11:35 am

    Build a overpass for the vehicles. It can’t be that hard to do.

  47. FJ on December 12th, 2018 11:04 am

    I agree highway 29 is a problem on more days than not but there is another area that is worse at time. If you live at the end of Fairground rd there is only one way in or out and the train actually sits there sometimes for hours supposedly due to mechanical problems. If there were a medical emergency someone could die.i know there have been many calls to complain to CSX and other entities but CSX will tell you they own that track and can sit there as long as they want.

  48. Crystal Miller on December 12th, 2018 10:52 am

    Something has to be done! I was stuck at that train for almost 45 minutes while I found my sister was dying and I didn’t get to tell her goodbye, that was the longest 45 minutes of my life and included the worst nervous breakdown imaginable. I know that there are many life or death situations affected by this train so there has to be a way.

  49. G Bohannon on December 12th, 2018 10:32 am

    Living in Molino for over 16 yes and this has been one of the downsides. Please come up with a solution! Either night time train hook up or an overpass. We are in the 21st century.. surely there can be other options!!

  50. A Alex on December 12th, 2018 10:23 am

    Call the police when CSX blocks the road… Now that’s the funniest post on here. Railroads override all other vehicles including emergency vehicles …
    OVERPASS or new north extension which wouldn’t get done by 2050 and be maybe 9 Mile road be done by then. Just a thought

  51. Kevin Vickrey on December 12th, 2018 10:23 am

    There used to be a law on the books. The road could not be blocked for longer than 15 minutes or the conductor could be arrested

  52. tooma on December 12th, 2018 10:13 am

    Face it folks rail transport of materials is a necessity no way around it. We have caught that delay and it sucks. An overpass would be great , but can you imagine the nightmare of construction of that given the proximity of those tracks to Muskogee road.

    Hell we are all getting the shaft now of all the way past due road construction going on right now . The best way to minimize the delay of commuters is to make movement of railcars into the mill or the rail sidings after midnight with minimum traffic on the roads. No easy answers and common sense by those to make the decisions is in short supply…

  53. K. in Cantonment on December 12th, 2018 10:12 am

    It seems to me something is always blocking traffic in Cantonment, the train or Jim Allen parents, I guess it’s part of living out here.

  54. Ekg on December 12th, 2018 10:10 am

    Wow….. I’ll thank the “Great Spirit” for getting the commissioners to even consider making changes to this terrible train habit. Making an overpass for the trains is way too expensive and dangerous….and it isn’t just Hwy 29 they block…I’ve seen them block Beck’s Lake Rd right there which also blocks the right hand lane of Hwy29 heading north…and just about all the blockages are during lunch time and rush hour.

  55. UGGGGG on December 12th, 2018 10:01 am

    yes, they seem to do it the worse around 5 pm, NO ONE wants to get off work and wait over 30 minutes for a train that is BLOCKING….very flustrating

  56. Wayne on December 12th, 2018 9:52 am

    I agree this has been put up with way to long, I think a over pass to, but for the train (hopefully that’s what everyone is thinking), that would be the simplest at least for building and the least amount of traffic disruption during construction

  57. Kris on December 12th, 2018 9:52 am

    Since I have a whole family of First Responders, my concern is the lack of response to to an emergency vehicle! They could be responding to your address with your house on fire or your loved one having a life threatening episode where minutes or even seconds count! Let that sink in! “This person or house could have been saved if we hadn’t been block by the train!”

  58. My2Cents on December 12th, 2018 9:47 am

    I truly HATE this train! I’ve waited over 30 minutes several times. The cheapest solution would be to have a digital sign BEFORE Kingsfield Rd alerting drivers that the train is about to cross over Hwy 29. Of course that would not help anyone north of Kingsfield.

    Only have the trains move in the middle of the night which would help most traffic. It should have a notification system for emergency personnel so they could, hopefully, take alternate routes.

    Real solution is to build an overpass but the way things are handled here it would take 20 years before that happens. Look at how long it is taking with Nine Mile Rd. Insane!

  59. NativeTongue on December 12th, 2018 9:44 am

    Fixing the Hwy 29 route with an overpass or rerouting the intersection is important but I hope Commissioners also look at the Cottage Hill neighborhood issues.
    The train has caused at least 3 days of complete work/school stoppages for everyone living east of 95a between Becks Lake and Quintette roads.
    I don’t understand why they can’t make a connection of roads from Quintette to Kingsfield so that these people could get to the hospital, work, or school.

  60. Cindy Knowles on December 12th, 2018 9:44 am

    I had a brother in law whom was an engineer with CSX – he told me one time they were only ” suppose ” to stop like they do at Cantonment for no more than 12 minutes – I’ve been there over an hour – on my way to the Vet who wouldn’t wait on me for one thing – but another is the car next to me was someone from out of town on the way to the beach for the week and to say they were mad is an understatement – they opened their door and was yelling – what is going on – this is stupid – I agree – do all the switching at night – the busiest time of day and it backs up for miles – I even emailed CSX in Mobile – their response was they were sorry for the inconvienance – good luck Commission….

  61. David on December 12th, 2018 9:44 am

    Not that hard, build an overpass. That way IP can operate business as they need to and traffic will never be held up.

  62. Concerned on December 12th, 2018 9:40 am

    I’m 64 which means the railroad track has been in the same area many more years than me. We live on Florida/Alabama line and know what time we have to be at appointments, it is our responsibility to allow time for stopping as well at the three red lights and the train tracks when we have appointments or need to do business in Pensacola. Since my younger days there are 4x the amount of traffic on Hwy 29, we need to learn how to be patient in all things the CSX has their job to do as well as we do ours. Take the time you have to be stopped and use it for prayer, thinking on good memories and just being thankful we are alive. If the ambulance has a patient they can go via Quintette Rd. or Muscogee Rd. they have radio contact and can let the facilities know. There are always deputies on the opposite side or the track. Most comments state they wait 20 to 30 minutes so where does the hour come in? We need the train tracks, the mill needs the train and most of all the employees need the jobs. Patience my friends. Life is short!

  63. Honest Abe on December 12th, 2018 9:32 am

    My only frustration is they do it during peek traffic times. I understand the mill is essential to our economy, but it also henders it during rush hour. I know, like clock work, when I’ll be stopped by it.

  64. James Hicks on December 12th, 2018 9:03 am

    This is a real life safety problem for those of us that live on streets with only one way in and out of our neighborhood. Recently the train blocked my street for over 2 hours, it was just sitting there doing nothing. Had someone in our neighborhood had a medical emergency or fire at their home the emergency apparatus would not have had access. I have complained about this several times before but have not had any feedback from anyone and the problem still exists. I have asked that the railroad be required to maintain access along their right-of-way so Fire and EMS vehicles could access our street; at least we would have some alternative to get in and out of our neighborhood. Calling 911 and reporting the problem doesn’t seem to produce any results. Bottom line is that either nobody care enough to do something or CSX just ignores taking steps required to correct the problem. Hopefully it won’tl take someone dying or their home being destroyed by fire before something gets done. I appreciate the County Commission looking into this important life safety issue and hope we see some positive results.

  65. CC on December 12th, 2018 9:03 am

    We need an overpass at the mill but that will not solve the problem of trains blocking the neighborhood roads off of 95A. We also need a back way out from Elna to where 95A stops before the mill. I’ve lived in Cantoment almost 49 years and the train blockage is a major problem.

  66. sam on December 12th, 2018 8:51 am

    they block them everywhere. they make the trains longer now to save money for themselves. then occasionally they will block a road for hours if there is an alternative route further away for motor vehicles.

  67. Alava on December 12th, 2018 8:40 am

    Anyone else notice that it is loading at the mill later in the afternoon? It use to be right @ 4:30 and now it seems like it is at 5 – that 30 minutes makes a huge difference when you have 5 o’clock traffic backed up – I’ve lived out here for more than 25 years and lately it is has become a nuisance , seems like the may have got the blocking of McKenzie thru Eden on under control, but have changed up the loading time – I’ve even got my tire popped along with about 5 other people one morning due to an elevated track in front of the mill – I’ve tried to report issues via phone and email and have never got a response!

  68. AL BUCHANAN on December 12th, 2018 8:38 am

    Overpass would be great if the funding was there but it’s not. Also the overpass would take a minimum of 2 years to complete adding more frustration from construction and we dont need that. Simple solution is mandate to the railroad the times in which they can do switches 8 pm to 4 am and maybe a 1 hr window during the day, say maybe 1-2 in the afternoon for emergency switches during the day.

  69. Need sommon Sense suggestions on December 12th, 2018 8:29 am

    @Citizen – PLEASE NO to #6 – that is NOT an Emergency.
    Especially if it isn’t impacting emergency vehicles.

    However, since its taken this many years.. why doesn’t the Feds or CSX put an over pass there? do it like what’s at the Hurlbert Field exit now.

    Better times/schedules of long trains & stoppages and make sure to post so can be avoided, if possible.

  70. CW on December 12th, 2018 8:19 am

    If they put an overpass on 29 they would have to move Muskogee Rd northward and demolish the Raceway.

  71. Robert Ditto on December 12th, 2018 8:18 am

    IP has a lot of land out there that can be used as a better system to fit the entire train on. Let the train back all the way up on their property and stop the disconnecting and pulling fwd just to back up on anther track and doing it all over again. 1 back up and then let traffic flow until the train is ready to leave and then let it back across.

  72. Richard on December 12th, 2018 8:11 am

    This has been an on going problem, not only do they block hwy 29 at 5 o clock traffic, but when their train breaks down and blocks me from getting home or going to my job. Taking money out of my pocket. What about first responders trying to get to an emergency? I’ve seen NUMEROUS emergency vehicles having to wait at this train also. About a month ago I came home a little late and a train was broke down blocking my road and I had to sleep in my vehicle in international papers parking lot. It’s ridiculous.

  73. Colt on December 12th, 2018 8:09 am

    It’s just a scheduling issue. Run the trains at night. Problem solved.

  74. Traci on December 12th, 2018 8:08 am

    An overpass is an option but if you think traafic and back ups are bad now, just wait. It would make the most sense to work with CSX and the mill to coordinate deliveries during the early morning hours 12-5am.

  75. Chris on December 12th, 2018 7:55 am

    Yes yes yes!!! BUILD AN OVERPASS!! These trains are ridiculous and anyone that condones their blocking of Highway 29 is also part of the problem and should be bypassed as well.

  76. Lori McNeill on December 12th, 2018 7:52 am

    Don’t get me started! It has actually become a joke where all my friends wait for me to post my daily train block story on Facebook! It does not matter what time of day I travel Hwy 29, it gets me!! So to me—ANY solution would be GREAT!!!!!

  77. Michael Rhodes on December 12th, 2018 7:41 am

    Seems to always block during high traffic times .especially the evening between 4 and 6. This wasn’t a issue in the 80 ’s or even the 90’s ,but the growth of population north is tremendously greater. Hope this gets resolved soon.

  78. Terry Jones on December 12th, 2018 7:39 am

    The train is very frustrating. It causes long delays and has even caused a few problems for my family and I. A family member was sick and needed to go to the hospital and the train caused major delays that were almost life threatening. There is no sense that we have a train go right through the busiest hwy in Pensacola.

  79. Nichole on December 12th, 2018 7:38 am

    Put an overpass on HWY 29 in front of the mill. This would solve the problem of traffic backups and prevent tire damage from automobiles driving across ill maintained tracks. A couple of years ago a section of train track was protruding up in the right hand lane southbound on HWY 29 at the crossing in front of the mill. We had to replace 2 tires on our vehicle before they fixed that section of protruding track. At the rate Cantonement is growing, an overpass is definitely needed to keep traffic flowing smoothly.

  80. Tracy A Smith on December 12th, 2018 6:52 am

    The timing of when the trains come in is the issue. Need to make sure that it isn’t during morning/evening rush hour or during school bus running times. Overnights would probably be best.

  81. Oversight on December 12th, 2018 6:43 am

    First. Why do the trains go into the yard at IP? Are these rail cars actually loaded there or is this a convenient rail car storage for CSX.

    Second. Since it is federal. There’s no anything the county commission can do about it, but petition the U.S. Department of Transportation and our U.S. congress members of the house and senate all of which will just ignore us.

    Third. Build a highway overpass over the rail way like the one at the state line (Century/Flomaton). This would involve some eminent domain issues and put some local businesses out and cause intersection issues at Muskogee. However, this could be engineered around by taking the no longer used golf course property and re-routing and moving the intersection.

    What’s what is more important? Keeping the only true north/south access highway functional and open for all traffic including emergencies (for the public’s good)? Or continue to be hamstrung by a non-responsive federal CSX company that we have no control over (status que)?

  82. Dale brinley on December 12th, 2018 6:40 am

    Al is right. I used to work at a plant that operated 24/7. We did all our line ups at night and all switching at night or on the premises during the day to minimize traffic disruption. I used to do switching and have been stuck in cantonment while the trains blocked the road. There’s no excuse for the length of time they sit still. If they need to line up cars, they can hook them all up and move them all to the main yard to line up the cars and not spend so much time blocking traffic.

  83. FLA Girl on December 12th, 2018 6:37 am

    Elevate the highway 29 over the entire area, like an interstate overpass. We were stuck there for more than 30 minutes when I was in labor, then we were able to find a way around. That was at 10 pm, so doing switches at night wouldn’t have worked. Think of emergency vehicles that are affected by these STOPPED trains!

  84. bob in baker on December 12th, 2018 6:36 am

    Make CSX build an overpass.

  85. john on December 12th, 2018 6:26 am

    Nothing you can do! The railroad has deep pockets, the give a lot of money to politicians they hold a lot of power and influence. The FRA will defend them, they will tell you the railroad was there before anything else….many roads, towns, cities, etc. I was actually told by one official in all his years at the FRA he had never received one complaint about a blocked street that I called about, and we are talking about a location that was blocked almost daily and once timed for almost 1 hour and 40 minutes. Good Luck!

  86. mike o'farrell on December 12th, 2018 6:19 am

    There is a 40+ year history of this. Blocking Hwy 29 during morning and evening rush hour is bad enough, creating miles of north/south blocked traffic.. Blocking all exits and entrances to Cottage Hill for hours at a time is much more than an inconvenience, effectively making prisoners of residents. I am glad that someone is looking into the issue again. Maybe the mill might have some clout with CSX. My own personal experience with this is that whenever I am running late or in a hurry, I run into THE TRAIN….!

  87. joy bryant on December 12th, 2018 6:13 am

    I live in Molino so I HAVE to go across those tracks and during rush hour between 4- 5:30 I have sat in traffic for 45 minutes – and as you start to move (when you finally reach the point where you can see the train) here is comes again and you are again waiting! I have seen people get stuck in the median trying to turn around because they have had it – and cars over-heat in the summer – then the people that are sitting on 95A waiting to merge – well drivers on 29 want out of there and so they don’t let them in – when the do drivers have become irritated.
    this should NEVER be allowed – it is STUPID and aggrevating to say the least

  88. Sharon Colbert on December 12th, 2018 6:10 am

    I hope they can figure out a better time of the day to run. The traffic is horrible when it the train comes. I have seen neighborhood’s blocked at the worst time of the day. If some one needed a ambulance their in trouble. I thought there was a time limit on how long they can stop traffic?

  89. M in Bratt on December 12th, 2018 5:58 am

    Governments; County, City, and State have little or no authority to regulate anything to do with the railroads. There are only two possible solutions for this problem, build an overpass, or build the by-pass road around Cantonment. Along with that, a service road needs to be put in on the East side of the tracks so that the neighborhoods can successfully, and safely go around the stopped trains.

  90. Jerry on December 12th, 2018 5:55 am

    Build an over pass or tunnel under it. Problem solved

  91. Tonya Jones on December 12th, 2018 5:51 am

    I don’t know what the answer is, but I live North of this track at the mill and get caught regularly on my way to work and sometimes coming home from work. It is quite irritating to have to sit through this during crucial times of the day and evening. At a minimum, I would suggest to change the times that the train blocks the road.

  92. Just an idea on December 12th, 2018 5:44 am

    Maybe they can make an overpass for either Hwy29 or for the trains. Another thought is they can choose a time other then when people are driving to/from work (rush hour) but this still does not solve the problem emergency vehicles have to deal with.

  93. S.K. on December 12th, 2018 3:58 am

    Make an overpass (bridge) right there. It will solve a lot of problems

  94. Jackson on December 12th, 2018 3:22 am

    I have been sitting in the road waiting on the train for almost 30 min before. Emergency vehicles, Law Enforcement, nurses providing care to patients…everybody is held up by these trains. You can be heading to an emergency and have to wait for the train. One day…someone will die waiting on them to clear the roads. The Council needs to find a solution to this problem..

  95. Gart Hebert on December 12th, 2018 3:11 am

    The tracks are blocked on Regular basis, sometimes as long as 20 minutes. Something needs to done .

  96. bigbill1961 on December 12th, 2018 3:02 am

    The Escambia County Commission simply needs to realize that whenever neighborhood access is blocked to residents, it’s also blocked to emergency vehicles. End of story.

  97. Citizen on December 12th, 2018 2:26 am

    Great idea to solicit comments prior to the Committee of the Whole!

    Brainstorm ideas

    1)Of course an overpass but we know that takes times and money

    2) Have state legislature make a law with teeth and large fines making it illegal for CSX or other trains to block an intersection for hours

    3) Have alternate routes and sign directing traffic on an alternate route if possible

    4) cameras at the intersections relayed to document the times in the intersection

    5) Cameras relay info to emergency respondents, police or fire services

    6) Urge residents to call the police if a train is blocking the road


  98. AL BUCHANAN on December 12th, 2018 1:59 am

    Do the railroad switches during the night. The mill is 24 hr operation. Not in the morning or afternoon. Not around 5 or 6 in the morning or afternoon for sure that is shift change hours at the mill.

Have a comment on this story?

We welcome your comments on this story, but there are some rules to follow::

(1) Be Nice. No comments that slander another, no racism, no sexism, no personal attacks.

(2) No Harrassing Comments. If someone says something bad about you, don't respond. That's childish.

(3) No Libel. That's saying something is not true about someone. Don't do it.

(4) Keep it clean. Nothing vulgar, obscene or sexually related. No profanity or obvious substitutions. Period.

(5) NorthEscambia.com reserves the right to remove any comments that violate our rules or we think to be inappropriate. We are not responsible for what is posted. Comments may not appear right away until they are approved by a moderator.

(6) Limit your comments to the subject in this story only, and limit comments to 300 words or less. Do not post copyrighted material. Comments will not be added to stories that are over 30 days old.

(7) No posts may advertise a commercial business or political group, or link to another commercial web site or political site of any kind.