Lockland mayor continues to fight stopped train problem, gets call from Ohio senator

LOCKLAND, OH (FOX19) - Earlier this month, Lockland Mayor Mark Mason, Sr., said some children were crawling underneath stopped train cars in his village, trying to get to school on time.

You can watch the original FOX19 NOW report on area train troubles here.

This week, Mason said the social media response since that report has been overwhelming. They shared our story with every elected leader possible, and he said people have also been bombarding Washington, D.C. with emails and phone calls.

And when Mason's cell phone rang at dinner Wednesday, it confirmed to him Washington, D.C. was listening.

"I was quite surprised to receive a personal phone call from him," said Mason, who remains hopeful, after getting that call from U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown.

FOX19 NOW originally reported children and adults were dangerously crossing between the cars during extended stoppages.

"He certainly conveyed that he was fighting for us and working for a solution on this matter," said Mason.

When asked if he offered a solution to the stoppages, Mason said he's hoping the power of Brown's office can get the ball rolling.

"Maybe from the Federal Railroad Administration, or somebody at Norfolk Southern or CSX to get the results we so desperately need," said Mason.

The Lockland Community Facebook page began lighting up after that first FOX19 NOW report, with Steve Fletcher writing: "Think the train company saw our story last night on the news." The train was apparently blocking the same spot where we'd gone live the night before at Wyoming Avenue.

Viewers are being vigilant about reporting the stoppages, such as a two-hour blockage on March 11.

This past Wednesday, three stoppages had villagers irate.

"Three-plus hours, 65 minutes and 60 minutes," said Mason. "We have cited every day this week except for Thursday, so it's a continuing issue and we continue to fight!"

Right now, the mayor is working to put together a coalition of surrounding villages, believing there is strength in numbers as they move forward in this fight.

In their initial statement to FOX19 NOW, CSX said this:

"We're committed to keeping an open line of communication with local authorities and elected officials to talk through these issues as we work to balance the needs of the business community with that of residents."

Mason said they've already discussed posting large signs alongside the railroads with bold messages, letting conductors and rail operators know, their trains are upsetting lives and businesses, and they're not going to sit around and wait for it anymore.

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