RAIL WAIT: Waterloo man captures photo of kids climbing through stopped railroad cars

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WATERLOO, Iowa – Rail frustrations are causing some eastern Iowans to go through great lengths to get across one area city.

A Waterloo man took a picture of students walking through stopped railroad cars while they were on their way home from school.

John Fluhr says, “I understand why these kids are doing this, but it’s very dangerous.”

He took another picture of a student waiting outside in the cold, in front of the stopped train. He says he’s concerned for these kids, especially with the winter months fast approaching.

“Yeah it’s 39 degrees out right now, and in a couple months it’s going to be -5 and some kids can’t even afford coats.”

Driver Charletta Sudduth says she saw a kid turn around on his way to East High, after he was stopped by a train.

She says, “When he turned around, I asked where he was going. He said there’s nobody there at home to even get me to school.”

The photos Fluhr took are gaining a lot of attention on social media.

“It’s just not acceptable for kids to be sitting out here or standing out here, waiting so long, getting drenched or freezing,” he says.

KWWL did a story last spring, titled “Rail Wait.”   

According to the Waterloo city ordinance, the trains are not supposed to block an intersection for more than 10 minutes with four exceptions:

1. When complying with signals affecting the safety of the movement of trains.

2. To avoid striking an object, or person on the track.

3. When the train is disabled

4. To comply with government safety regulations.


Amanda Gilbert

Amanda Gilbert

Multimedia Journalist
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