By Whitney Vickers
FAIRBORN — Norfolk Southern Railroad is currently performing routine maintenance on the railroad crossing at State Route 235 and Xenia Drive, including resurfacing and replacing the cross.
The repairs are keeping local drivers from utilizing State Route 235/Xenia Drive as a means of reaching the downtown Fairborn area since beginning Monday, Aug. 8.
Norfolk Southern Railroad was slating railroad repairs to be completed by the evening hours Friday, Aug. 12. However, David Pidgeon of Norfolk Southern Railroad was not accounting for the rain that’s forecasted throughout the next few days when this estimation was made.
He said the company recognizes the inconvenience the repairs have caused Fairborn drivers, but added that it is essential for the repairs to be performed diligently and safely.
“We’re able to run trains on the track while crews are working — that’s an important line in Ohio,” he said. “Crews have to work around [the train schedule].”
The repairs are being performed as part of Norfolk’s regular maintenance program. Pidgeon said high-tech diagnostic equipment is placed on the tracks each year to find faults in the lines not able to be seen with the naked eye. In the meantime, he said the railroad tracks are visually inspected by individuals employed by the company on a weekly basis.
“Our eyes are on it all the time,” he said.
Pidgeon added that it is hard to predict when the railroad crossing will need additional maintenance in the future, as factors such as weight, speed and length of trains utilizing the track can cause the calling for upkeep to fluctuate.
“We know it’s an inconvenience for drivers, we are attuned to that and don’t want the crossing closed any longer than it has to be,” Pidgeon said. “But we have to be diligent and safe.”