Galleria area drivers had a nasty morning today because a Union Pacific train was dropped dead in its tracks blocking Richmond and West Alabama for almost seven hours.
Union Pacific spokesperson Raquel Espinoza tells Hair Balls the train's crew had reached the end of their 12-hour shift, and federal law barred them from going any farther.
The solution is to have a backup crew ready to switch out, but because of communication problems and delays in the train's schedule, the stop came and there was no one there to replace the crew.
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So why'd it take so long to get someone else? Plenty of potential backups in Houston, right? How long's it take to roust a few out of bed and get over to the west side of town?
The problem with that, Espinoza says, is that there was again miscommunication, and while an investigation is still under way it's likely that the dispatcher assumed the train had stopped in a place where it was blocking no traffic.
"It took us a while, and we apologize for that," Espinoza says.
She says "if normal procedures had been followed, the blocking of those crossings would not have happened. We realize those are major crossings and we apologize for anyone inconvenienced."