Stalled Train Stalls Claremore Traffic For Hours

Thursday, May 7th 2015, 6:41 pm
By: Emory Bryan

A stalled train blocked traffic in Claremore Thursday morning for nearly three hours.

It started with an engine failure on a Union Pacific train and got worse from there.

Claremore always has its share of problems with the train, but Thursday morning it was double trouble as a train stalled on a set of tracks and blocked some roads.

The problem got worse when a train on another track had to stop because it couldn't get through the intersection.

During peak times several trains an hour roll through Claremore and everybody has to wait, sometimes it's ten minutes, sometimes it's much, much longer.

A Union Pacific train stopped in the middle of town Thursday morning at 7:00. It left David Alonso across the tracks from his business, and his customers.

“I have customers on this side of town who can make it to my shop, so they're out front wondering where I am, and I am literally a stone's throw away, back there, so it's very frustrating,” he said.

Because of where the Union Pacific stalled - blocking the intersection - a Burlington Northern train going south had to stop as well.

That blocked more crossings for more than a mile to the north.

Because the two lines cross in town, the delays impact everyone trying to get anywhere.

Carlos Gripado didn't sell donuts at his shop Thursday because the customers were across the tracks.

"Everybody here works over there, everybody here works over there," he said.

The police department gets a lot of complaints, but Chief Stan Brown said they need to go directly to the railroad.

"We'll have a two or three day period when it's normal, then four or five days when it's constant, trains stopped, frustration," Brown said.

City leaders said they've been talking with the railroad and hope to find a solution, but whatever happens it won't be quick, or cheap.