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Rep. Denson Condemns Lockland's Ongoing Railroad Blockings, Says U.S. Sen. Brown's Bipartisan Legislation Can Fix Issue

October 6, 2023
Sedrick Denson News

COLUMBUS – State Rep. Sedrick Denson (D-Cincinnati) today released the following statement concerning the ongoing issue of railway blockage resulting from stopped trains in Lockland Village:

“Although I was saddened to hear that a stopped train in Lockland blocked crossings for over 10 hours this past weekend, it did not surprise me. This issue is not new and has been ongoing for years with little accountability being taken by railroad companies like Norfolk Southern,” said Rep. Denson. “This is a problem that disrupts the lives of Lockland citizens daily. When railways are blocked, many adults can’t get to work, and many children are unable to attend school safely.” 

Democratic state lawmakers recently attempted to add legislation that addressed railway blockage in the transportation budget but were unable to due to a conflict with federal law. In 2022 the Ohio Supreme court ruled that railroad company regulation solely falls under federal jurisdiction. Thus, making it impossible to penalize railroad companies at the state and local level.

Fortunately, action is currently being taken at the federal level to address railway blockage. Ohio U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown recently co-sponsored a new piece of bipartisan legislation titled the Rail Safety Act. Sen. Brown anticipates the bill, which recently voted out of the Senate committee, will be taken to the floor for a vote in a few weeks.

“It has been frustrating to essentially have our hands tied at the state level regarding efforts to alleviate the issue of railway blockage. However, I am pleased to hear that our state’s federal legislators are tackling this issue head on,” said Rep. Denson. “I fully support Sen. Sherrod Brown’s Railway Safety Act and I am hopeful that if passed it will be effective in reducing the amount of railway blockages places like Lockland experience on a frequent basis.”

For more information regarding this legislation, please visit U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown’s official website page.

If you or someone you know have witnessed railway blockage, click here to file a report with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA).