Great Western Railway acting to relieve train-caused delays |

Great Western Railway acting to relieve train-caused delays

FORT COLLINS ” The great train holdup in this northern city may soon be at an end.

Union Pacific has agreed to organize its train cars better in Cheyenne before delivering them to the Great Western Railway train in Fort Collins.

Re-sorting the cars here had sometimes left drivers waiting up to an hour to cross major intersections, said Mike Herzig, city special projects engineer. On one day earlier this month trains held up traffic 19 times in one day.

While the train cars were being sorted at a switching yard, drivers would be stuck at Mulberry Street, Riverside and LeMay avenues for 82 train cars to pass.

“You want to talk about bringing a city to its knees,” said Fort Collins resident Rachel Hopper. “There is a ripple effect that I think is huge in the city of Fort Collins,” she said.

Herzig said the city urged the railway to relieve the problem. “Our best approach has been to talk to the railroads and try to work out the problems without legal action,” Herzig said.

Technically, city ordinances did not limit the time the railway could delay traffic for sorting.

“Even though the auto traffic has increased in Fort Collins, we’ve worked with them to accommodate whatever we need to do to make it safer and more workable with the city,” said Ron Welch, manager of train operations for Union Pacific.

“I think you’ll see a decrease in the amount of switchings over the crossing, so the crossings won’t be blocked as long as in the past.”

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