BONNER COUNTY, Idaho -- In North Idaho, a group of neighbors have long complained that trains often block the roads to their homes.
Laya Bleckwenn, who KREM 2 previously spoke with about the train issue posted on Facebook: "Gotta hand it to BNSF, when they need to do something, they get r done. Making a good dent in that derailment. I'm pretty positive that not a single one of those guys out there working around the clock to clean up that mess, is responsible for blocking my crossing. I'm able to appreciate the working man.” She said the derailment two miles away hasn't affected those crossings.
KREM 2 first did this story back in December. Neighbors like Paul Pickett said things like, “We're afraid to come out here to the mailbox because we'll get trapped out here."
They were afraid because Burlington Northern trains would stall and block the roads leading to the homes of Pickett and others in the area. Sometimes those delays would take hours. BNSF officials said at the time that the trains would be stopped so that they could swap out crews or that the trains were being held up because of heavy traffic further down the line. The railway said it was working to fix the problem. Five months after our story aired, things have improved.
"We've got no complaints right now. Even with this accident, they've just been real good," said Pickett.
He and two other neighbors said that the problem has gotten better. If there's a train going by, it's only there for 15 minutes tops.
"Most of the time they roll by real slow, but they keep rolling. No more of this two to three hour businesses," said Pickett.
Bonner County Commissioner Glen Bailey had a sit down meeting with some BNSF representatives to discuss the problem. Bailey said the railroad listened and that the situation has improved, that's for sure. He said BNSF is doing what is right.
Pickett and others are fine keeping images of an hours long wait like this a memory.
"Well, we're all relieved because we can get in and out when we need to," said Pickett.