Chesterton Tribune



Stopped train turns town into parking lot

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A train with mechanical problems stopped for at least 90 minutes on the Norfolk Southern line turned Downtown Chesterton--and Ind. 49 as well--into a parking lot Tuesday afternoon, the Chesterton Fire Department is reporting.

Capt. Rudy Jimenez told the Chesterton Tribune this morning that the CFD was notified of the stopped eastbound train at 3:22 p.m. but that it had probably ground to a halt somewhat earlier than that. All five at-grade crossings were blocked as the train awaited the arrival of a repair crew, Jimenez said: North Jackson Blvd., North 15th Street, North Eighth Street, North Fourth Street, and South Calumet Road.

Unable to cross the tracks anywhere in town, motorists accordingly took to Ind. 49 in an attempt to get around the bottleneck but only succeeded in creating a new one, adding their vehicles to the normal rush-hour volume. Jimenez said that the northbound lanes of Ind. 49 were stacked “bumper-to-bumper” from Indian Boundary Road all the way south to East Porter Ave.

Complicating matters yet further was a two-vehicle accident on Indian Boundary Road at 4 p.m. Although the CFD was able to thread its way through town without much difficulty--Broadway to South Calumet Road to East Morgan Ave. to Roosevelt Street to East Porter Ave. and then to Ind. 49--getting to the scene on Indian Boundary Road proved to be a challenge. “Traffic on northbound Ind. 49 was very difficult to navigate because people were failing to yield right of way to fire equipment,” Jimenez said.

Then, on arriving at the scene--seven minutes after the initial call--the CFD was forced to close the westbound lanes of Indian Boundary Road, adding one last clot to the congestion. Two persons were transported to hospital, Jimenez said, after a motorist attempting to exit from the McDonald’s drive T-boned a second vehicle eastbound on Indian Boundary Road. The CFD cleared that scene at 4:29 p.m.

The train finally got moving again at 5:01 p.m., an hour and 39 minutes after the CFD was first informed that the train had stopped.


Posted 12/13/2017




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