ESPANOLA, Wash.--Neighbors in Espanola near Medical Lake have been dealing with an annoying problem for years. They said railroad-crossing bells in the town had been going off all day and night for ten years.
“If they would just get rid of that infernal bell,” said Espanola resident Brian Bowman.
“I've been here 9 years it's been going on ever since," said resident Lee Hegal
Hegal, 86, lives about 30 yards from the bells on Manila Road. He said the ringing was enough to drive him and his wife crazy.
“No one knows when or where they're going to do it,” said Hegal.
Grain loaders even said they could not help but notice the noisy nuisance.
“Yeah it'll go up and down, sometimes stay down...whatever it feels like doing I guess,” said grain loader Alex Baldwin.
A technician evaluating the crossing arms said the easiest thing to do if there is a problem with the arms is to call a 1-800 number that gets you to a BNSF service center. Espanola residents said they have called that number ten years and the problems persisted.
A Burlington Northern Santa Fe spokesperson told KREM 2 News that they were taking the matter seriously. The spokesperson said they had a team evaluating the crossing mechanism and would fix the problem.
“To me it's a safety factor because oh there's no train coming, the arms always do that…someday someone’s going to get hit by a train,” said neighbor Brian Bowman.
A BNSF team was busy at work trying to rectify the noise when a KREM 2 News crew drove up to the scene.
“They're out here working on it all the time and it does this day and night...no train in sight it just goes off and on...off and on,” said Bowman.
BNSF officials said they had received seven complaints in two years. They said they were going to get the problem fixed.