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What the government is doing to help with trains blocking roads

For months, 11Alive Investigates looked into the issue of trains blocking traffic for hours or days. We found it's a growing problem nationwide.

ATLANTA — The federal government is implementing a solution to help with trains blocking traffic following an 11Alive investigation. For months, 11Alive investigators looked into the issue of trains blocking our roads for hours or even days at a time.  We found it's a growing problem nationwide and here in Georgia.

Now, the Federal Railroad Administration created what's called the Railroad Crossing Elimination Grant Program. State and local officials can apply for funding. The money could be used to build overpasses and underpasses to prevent stalled trains from blocking roads. 

The $573 million in available funding will also go toward projects like closures, track relocations and improving warning devices at crossings. It's part of President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

This could be major help to Georgia, where this problem is only getting worse.

The number of complaints about trains increased each year since the federal government began tracking this in 2019. So far, 753 complaints have been reported for 2022. That eclipses the 470 total complaints from last year. Complaints range from stalled trains blocking crossings, to malfunctioning lights and gates. 

Not only is the number of complaints growing, but 11Alive found the same areas are seeing complaints over and over again.

RELATED: VERIFY: Can trains block roads for more than 30 minutes in Georgia?

Here are some of the biggest problem spots in Atlanta. 

This is more than an inconvenience. It is a potential safety issue. 

11Ailve investigators uncovered stalled trains can block first responders rushing to an emergency. It can also block drivers who are trying to get to a hospital. 

RELATED: Train Troubles: Safety concerns grow as trains block traffic in Georgia

The U.S. Department of Transportation told 11Alive Investigates there is no federal law regulating how long trains can block crossings.  

These complaints are only tracked by people who report them to the federal website. So, these numbers are likely much higher because not every stalled or standing train is being reported.  

If you see a stalled or standing train, you can report it to the Federal Railroad Administration.

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