Horicon Police Department Talk Trains Blocking Public Crossings

(Horicon) The Horicon Police Department is shining a light on the regulations of trains blocking at-grade public crossings. Agency officials say it is unlawful to stop any train for longer than 10 minutes while occupying a crossing.

They add that the Wisconsin and Southern Railroad as well as WATCO trains are constantly rolling, switching, or slowly traversing a crossing during the course of 10 minutes. Authorities note that they are unaware of or have yet be presented with evidence that trains are stopped for longer than 10 minutes.

The city of Horicon does have a local ordinance that makes it unlawful for a train to occupy a crossing for a certain length of time, however these ordinances are preempted by federal rule. That was determined by a ruling issued by the Wisconsin Court of Appeals in 2018.

The Horicon Police Department says the railroad companies do their best to keep track of Highway 33 during am and pm peak travel times, and whenever possible, will cut the crossing to limit the time they are blocking the roadway.

The agency adds that community members can call at 920-485-3555 and inform their administrative staff, who will then notify the railroad companies to allow backed up traffic to resume.