BLACKWATER — A Union Pacific freight train broke down in Blackwater on Sunday afternoon, shutting down the connection between Main Street and Route K headed towards Highway 41.
The train broke down around 4 p.m. on Sunday, and was there until crews cleared it around 2:30 p.m. on Monday.
The warning bells at the crossing were still ringing early Monday afternoon as a constant reminder that it hadn’t moved. Amanda Trevor, spokeswoman for Union Pacific, said in a voicemail that the train experienced “operational issues,” but did not return calls seeking more information.
“We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience to the community,” Trevor said.
Randi Luscombe has been the city clerk in Blackwater since 2016, and she’s never seen a train blocking Main Street for this long, she said. They’ve had to call Union Pacific a few times in the past to get them to move extra cars off of less-traveled crossings so farmers could get through.
Route K runs from the Blackwater exit on Interstate 70 to Highway 41, forming Main Street as it goes through downtown. Crossing the railroad tracks and Blackwater River is the best way to get to nearby Nelson, which shares the Blackwater Post Office, and Arrow Rock.
The train is also disrupting the mail and school buses that regularly cross the Blackwater River on Route K, Luscombe said. Union Pacific told her on Monday morning that there was an issue with an air hose that needed to be replaced, and that they had a crew on the way to fix it.
Trevor encouraged anyone who comes across a blocked crossing to call Union Pacific’s emergency line at 1-888-877-7267.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This report was updated at 2:48 p.m. on Oct. 28 to reflect that the train had been moved.