Railroad company takes away private crossing, leaving a family stranded


What used to be a railroad crossing is now just a pile of boards and nails.

The crossing served as the main entry to Chris and Jana Duncan’s home in Nolan County.

When Chris Duncan asked Union Pacific what they were doing, they said they had orders to take it down. The Duncans say they now have to drive five miles out of their way just to leave their home.

“We have had to call the railroad to ask them to move the train, and we’ve sat here for hours and hours on end,” said Jana Duncan. “I think the longest time was once 12 hours which blocked us in.”

The family said the blockade doesn’t allow emergency personnel to make it to their home as ambulances will now have to take the back roads.

“Nobody knows the back roads unless you’re a farmer, or you live out here,” said Chris Duncan. “It is going to be really tough for them to get to us.”

EverythingLubbock.com reached out to Union Pacific, which acknowledged that workers took out the private crossing. However, the company says it was for the family’s safety, and they had permission from the property owner.

A Union Pacific spokesman said they have been negotiating on the private crossing since at least June.

However, the Duncans and their landlord said they had no idea this was going to happen.

“We try to look at crossings, and if they’re redundant, or unsafe, or don’t serve a purpose, then we try to remove those crossings, and eliminate unsafe opportunities,” said Jeff Degraff, Union Pacific spokesman.

However, the family said that by taking out the private crossing, it has had the opposite effect and now poses a risk to their children.

“My kids would cross here to go to school, and now it’s too dangerous,” said Chris Duncan. “I don’t let them walk across the railroad tracks unsupervised, so why should I let them walk across with all these bolts sticking up?”

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