Acworth officials to permanently shut down crossing known for train, tractor-trailer accidents

After dozens of tractor-trailers have gotten stuck on train tracks, and a few collisions, the city of Acworth decided to make a change. The School Street crossing is being shut down permanently.  

Trains pass through downtown Acworth on a regular basis. The track runs parallel to Main Street. There are a few places to cross the tracks, but it's the School Street crossing that has caused problems over the years.

"Tractor-trailers were getting caught on that crest for a long time," said Kent Thelen, an Acworth resident.

The city has put up plenty of signs warning trucks not to cross the tracks, but the signs haven't solved the problem.  

"Since 2018 we've had 49 citations issued for vehicles that shouldn't be going over that crossing but do. It's a pretty steep incline, so it's easy for trucks, especially tractor-trailers to get hung up on the rail there," said James Albright, Acworth City Manager.

"They use it anyway, They think they can make it, unfortunately they don't," said Thelen.

City leaders posted video on social media of a train roaring down the tracks as a trailer was hung up last week.

"It was like something out of a movie, truck pieces everywhere, it was crazy," said Jordy Bagwell who witnessed the collision.

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Acworth city official say they are permanently closing off a railroad crossing after one too many accidents involving driver who should have not gone through the crossing. (Supplied)

Fortunately, no one was hurt, but after this latest incident as well as taking into consideration major train derailments in other parts of the country, including one in Ohio that created a toxic chemical spill, Acworth city leaders decided to close the School Street crossing permanently.

"After considering a lot of things, safety of the intersection was the foremost concern over public convenience," said Albright.

Even though this crossing is the shortest way for Jordy Bagwell to get to her neighborhood, she understands the importance of safety.

"I think the minor inconvenience of going around is better than the potential of a train accident in our neighborhood," said Bagwell who was out for a walk with her baby girl, Georgia.

City leaders say stuck vehicles also use city resources. Police respond to crashes and do traffic control, Public Works is often called in to clean up. They say this closing will also put an end to that.