Toppled rail cars remain along tracks after Springfield Twp. tra - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Toppled rail cars remain along tracks after Springfield Twp. train derailment

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It has been more than three weeks since a Norfolk Southern train derailed in Springfield Township sending 16 cars off the tracks.

The Crissey Road Crossing at Old Airport Highway has been repaired and reopened to train and car traffic, but neighbors complain the railroad never completed the clean-up.

People who live and work around the railroad property say what’s left of the derailment looks like an industrial wasteland and has become a safety hazard for kids who see it as a playground.

25 days after a train derailed at the Crissey Road Crossing, 11 toppled rail cars and piles of other parts remain on the side of Old Airport Highway.

 "I think it should've been cleaned up a long time ago,” says Mikenzie Mills as she holds her two-year-old son A.J.

Mills is losing patience with the railroad blight across the street from the home she is helping renovate.

"There's a lot of kids that run around and play out here,” says Mills. “I just think it's really unsafe for the kids. And I think it looks really bad … really trashy."

"Nobody is doing anything,” says Richard Roe, the owner of Crissey Auto Auction. “They were in a hurry to get the trains moving again, but that's about it."

Roe calls police when he spots climbers.

"A couple nights ago I seen three kids on top and two kids on the bottom of the cars and I called 9-1-1 to get them off of there because someone is going to get hurt,” says Roe.

"Late at night you have cars coming, trucks coming because they're trying to steal parts,” says Christina Zika, who lives across the street on Old Airport Highway.

Zika is keeping her own kids out of the front yard and putting pressure on the railroad.

"When I called this morning, I didn't get anywhere,” says Zika. “It was, ‘Well, you need to contact this person, well, you need to contact this person, well, you need to do this.’"

13abc called Norfolk Southern today.  A spokesperson does not have a timetable for when the rail cars will be hauled away.  We don't know if it will be days or weeks.  But the railroad does have a message for parents.

“It takes an enormous logistical effort to get contractors and our system in line to be able to move rail cars of that size out of the area,” says David Pidgeon, a Public Relations Manager for Norfolk Southern.

Pidgeon warns not to climb or play around the rail cars.    

“We hope parents might have a conversation with their children,” says Pidgeon.  “You’re putting your safety at risk.”

In the meantime, the trains keep rolling as the wait continues for a massive clean-up project sometime down the line.

The cause of the derailment remains under investigation.

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