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CSX will need to submit monthly reports for the next year that detail situations in which grade crossings are blocked by trains on its line in southwest Chicago and adjacent suburbs, the Surface Transportation Board (STB) ruled last week.The STB ordered that CSX can’t operate trains into or out of the Chicago terminal over the Elsdon Line unless the line is clear, according to the agency's decision.The monthly reports must detail the railroad's efforts to address malfunctioning gates, the number of crossing blockages that exceed 10 minutes, and situations in which trains are not being cut to avoid blocking crossings and why, according to a press release issued by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office.In February, Emanuel and the village of Evergreen Park, Ill., filed a petition with the STB asking the agency to consider sanctions against CSX because of an "unacceptably high" number of freight trains blocking crossings. They wanted the board to monitor the railroad's operations on the Elsdon Line.When CSX acquired an operating easement on the line from the Grand Trunk Western Railway Co. in 2013, the Class I agreed to route trains on the line only when it was clear. "Ever since CSX secured the right to operate on this track, residents have told us that trains along the Elsdon Line routinely cause lengthy delays that not only inconvenience residents but threaten public safety by blocking access to area hospitals," said Emanuel. The STB ruled that CSX had not been complying with its original agreement and ordered the railroad to do so, as well as issue reports monthly on any blockages on the line.
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