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Trains Causing Major Gridlock In Tiny Texas Town

By Arezow Doost, CBS 11 News
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(Photo by Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)

(Photo by Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)

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HASLET (CBSDFW.COM) - Several times a day trains roar through the small town of Haslet. When they do, those who live nearby hope they’re rumbling through on the other side of the tracks.

“It’s been up to 45 minutes for me at one point,” says Wayne Cloutier who lives in a subdivision near the tracks.

He said getting out of his neighborhood is a nightmare. The problem is when the trains roll through at Avondale-Haslet Road and Farm Road 156. There are only about 2,000 residents in Haslet.

“It backs up especially at rush hour traffic it backs up to you can wait forever,” said resident Nancy Mattern while waiting for the train to pass through Tuesday afternoon.

Cloutier and his neighbors said they get trapped in their subdivisions and they worry what would happen in an emergency.

“What if you have to get to the hospital,” Cloutier asked. “Gotta take a longer route? Die in the meantime?.”

Leigh Ann Seymour said she’s had to wait 30 to 40 minutes to get through and she too worries about her kids.

“If the kids got hurt I would be worried that an ambulance couldn’t get to them here,” says Seymour.

Joe Faust, a spokesperson with Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway, says it would take just a few minutes to stop a train and separate the cars.

The city of Haslet has heard the concerns and will be meeting with BNSF officials Friday to look at some relief options.

One would be to build an underpass, but it would cost about $7 to $8 million.

The city said it couldn’t afford that, so officials said BNSF and other cities might need to chip in since a majority of people driving through the stretch comes from an unincorporated area of Tarrant County.

“To me it’s worth putting a $7 million- $8 million bridge in there instead of somebody’s life,” Cloutier said. “How could you put a price on somebody’s life?”

Another option would be to not schedule any trains during morning or evening rush hours.

As Cloutier and his neighbors look for other routes and relief, they hope the gridlock just outside their neighborhood is fixed soon.

The meeting on Friday will begin at 10 a.m. at Haslet City Hall. It is not open to the public. Some Fort Worth City leaders are expected to attend.

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