Train troubles: South Norfolk residents upset over idling train


CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) – Residents who live off of Portlock Road in the South Norfolk neighborhood of Chesapeake are frustrated after they say a train causes congestion on their street every day.

Now, they’re calling on officials to do something about it.

“The train just comes and sits, and sits and sits,” said Chesapeake resident Kevin White.

The train doesn’t always idle on the tracks, but residents tell 10 On Your Side it happens more times than not.

“It happens sometimes in the morning, it happens sometimes in the middle of the day, but usually without fail every evening,” White said.

Amber Rodriguez-Lopez, a Chesapeake residsent, said because of the train, her morning commute takes longer than it should. She said when there is no train on the tracks it takes her about four minutes to get from her house to her childrens’ school. When there is a train, what should take a few minutes can turn into an hour.

“It can take anywhere between 45 minutes to an hour and this is pretty much on a daily basis,” Rodriguez-Lopez said.

Some drivers turn around when they see the stopped train and take the Gilmerton Bridge instead, but Rodriguez says that is more trouble than it’s worth. “I can try to wait for it or I will go around, which is another between 10 to 15 or 30 minutes depending on if the Gilmerton is up.”

Officials with Norfolk Southern, the corporation who runs the train, said they’re looking into this. 10 On Your Side followed up and asks for specifics, but we’re still working to learn more.

Officials said the track is located near the entrance to a rail yard, which may require the train to stop and go at times.

Residents said this has been going on for years and is getting worse.

“I’ve actually seen people getting out of their cars and they get frustrated,” White said. “Something needs to be done about it.”

10 On Your Side will continue to follow up with Norfolk Southern to get more answers.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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