Trains blocking road for hours in Hensley, neighbors say

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HENSLEY, Ark.- People who live in the small town of Hensley say they’re tired of trains constantly blocking roads for long periods of time, causing a major inconvenience and raising safety concerns.

A woman says she witnessed a Union Pacific train that stopped for almost two hours at an intersection near State Highway 365 last week.

Roy Rogers has lived in Hensley since 1963, and he says the train has stopped on the tracks over 100 times.

He says the problem will stop from time to time, and start right back up again. 

He believes an overpass built across the track will help solve the issue. 

“That would save us a lot of stress because you get ready to go somewhere, you don’t know when you get out,” Rogers says. “And you get back home, you don’t know how long you’re going to be sitting there.”

A spokesperson for Union Pacific released the following statement:

“Severe weather, heavy rainfall and flooding impacted Union Pacific’s operations in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma, resulting in prolonged track outages in May and into June. Last week, Union Pacific reopened its lines to local traffic around Pine Bluff, as well as the line connecting Fort Smith to North Little Rock.

During the outages, our system experienced congestion on open lines as we worked to reroute traffic. The tracks near Highway 365 and Hensley Road experienced increased train traffic due to these reroutes. Even after a line is reopened, it takes some time to return to the normal flow of traffic. We know it’s frustrating for drivers to wait at a blocked crossing, and we apologize.” 

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