Huron Township Trustee speaks out about railroad blockages, says township’s hands are tied

By Scott Bolthouse
Hub Editor Twitter: @ScottMBolt

This photo shows the aftermath of a house fire on Winding Creek Wednesday. Fire response was delayed by a train blocking railroad crossings in New Boston.

This photo shows the aftermath of a house fire on Winding Creek Wednesday. Fire response was delayed by a train blocking railroad crossings in New Boston. Photo courtesy of Dawn Young.

After train blockages became a hot story in New Boston Wednesday and Thursday, Huron Township Trustee R.P. Lilly said that his frustrations echo those of the residents in the township.

“Everybody in this community is concerned,” Lilly said to the Huron Hub Thursday morning.

“There have been times where I feel trapped in my own community,” he said.

“This time we lost a house, but I’m afraid next time it will be a human being.”

Lilly said that the township is unable to fine the train company because the railroad is labeled as interstate commerce, which is regulated within a state only by the Federal Government according to Constitutional powers.

This essentially means that there is no easy and fast solution.

“We’ve totally lost our ability to fine the train company,” he said.

Lilly said that the board has approached government officials in the past and that there is possible grant funding available to help build an over or underpass, but he is not sure if they would qualify for it.

He said that without grant funding, an over or underpass could cost well into the tens of millions of dollars to construct.



This story has been updated

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10 thoughts on “Huron Township Trustee speaks out about railroad blockages, says township’s hands are tied

  1. LK

    BULLSHIT! I have called that hotline numerous times and they do nothing! I hope someone sues the shit out of them. These are people’s live’s we are talking about…at least act like you give a shit.

  2. Linda Demyan

    This is a bunch of bs huron township is the blame for letting this rail yard come in . Some
    one gave them the ok . I have been a resident for all my life and this should’ve never been passed to come into the township. Sibley Road needs an overpass to deal with people getting off expressway and then the trains just tie up everything.You are endangering all the people that live right here in the town .you don’t stand a chance for a medical emergency,can’t even get responders to get to you . This is a damn shame they have ruined our town.

    1. Scott Bolthouse Post author

      Linda, the rail yard has been operating in Huron Township for many years. The rail road is part of interstate commerce, as mentioned in my article. Only the Federal Government can regulate its operation.

  3. Faye bird

    This is what happens with growth in the township. LDFA. Before approving companies coming into our township you might think of the impact it has on the quality of life of the taxpayers. Maybe a master plan as to procedure, hours of operations, businesses that transport over the road.location of companies. May want to have more exits from 275 easier to reach different areas without crossing tracks. Mr R.P. Lilly has been on the LDFA for several years, he is also the chair person of this group. We never had this problem prior to the building of the complies in his area. Just a few of my ideas. Lived in this area all my life so I am aware of the problems in the community.

    1. Scott Bolthouse Post author

      Hi Choo Choo – I will update the article shortly. Clicks are not important to me, accuracy is. The first reports that came in, which were reported by numerous local media outlets, was that the train caused a delay. I will link to that updated article now, which I had not read yet today. Still, the railroads remain a concern in the township, as it seems the fire chief said.

  4. Debbie

    They need to put a timer(clock) up to let you know how much time is left before the train moves this way you can turn around and go a different route

  5. steve

    Past meeting records can reveal which of our representatives allowed this travesty into our township. Living here since 1985 I used to walk the area, now a parking lot, which used to be farming fields. Many frustrating times I’ve had to turn around hoping another road might be open. Simple investigation into other communities dealing with this problem could have prevented our problem.


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