Pontotoc County residents concerned about railroad crossing

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PONTOTOC COUNTY, OK -- When a train is coming, most people see flashing lights and gates come down at a railroad crossing. But that's not the case for residents who live down County Road 3540, who say they have to use their own senses.

"When a train is coming from the south, it's coming around a curve, and so you don't have a whole lot of visual notice," said resident, Mike McGaha. "It can be on you pretty quickly."

McGaha says gates and warning lights need to be installed. Michael West says he's witnessed first hand how unsafe the crossing can be.

"Me and my three kids were actually going across the track, and I looked both ways, but I remember my son had said something and when I looked back, the train had just started passing by, and we almost got hit," West said.

Pontotoc County Commissioner, Randy Floyd, says the railroad track is owned by Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation.

Floyd says he's contacted ODOT and the Oklahoma Corporations commission to make them aware of the situation.

"They have restrictions they have to deal with and ODOT and Corporations Commission oversee them," said Floyd. "I've contacted them and trying to get information from them on what can and can't be done."

Although Commissioner Floyd does believe the crossing is an issue, he says it's ultimately up to the Oklahoma Corporation Commission to decide whether or not to put in a better railroad crossing.

"Hopefully the state department will look into it and between them and the Corporation commission they will make recommendations that something be done," said Floyd.

Floyd also encourages residents to call the corporation commission office. He says more voices will increase their awareness.

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