“I think I can’t. I think I can’t”

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Blocked UPRR crossings upset many locals on Mother’s Day

Photo by Sheriff Department

By Lisa Morton

Van Horn community members were furious Sunday, (Mother’s Day), when an eastbound Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) freight train delayed many getting to and from church services.  The train blocked all designated railroad crossings in the city and the cause of the train delay is still unclear.  Culberson County Sheriff Oscar Carrillo said, “I had to personally call Union Pacific headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska and cry wolf about a potential emergency response situation with the train blockage.  “I was getting unclear communications reports from UPRR officials about why the train was stopped for approximately one hour”, the Sheriff added.

The Advocate reached out to UPRR Media Relations personnel, who returned the call late Tuesday afternoon.  The spokesperson said he would look into the situation for answers, but was only aware of a train disabled with mechanical problems in Monahans at the time of the incident here.  The Advocate did not receive further communication from UPRR at press time.

There are laws regulating how long a train can block public roadways, although many locals feel that the railroad essentially answers to no one.  Phone numbers posted by UPRR for anyone to report blocked railroad crossings are, 800-767-3884 or 800-848-8715.  The Sheriff concluded, “Thankfully, we had no life or death emergencies we had to respond to”.