An electrical mishap caused railroad crossing arms throughout Effingham to malfunction Tuesday, leaving railroad worker to find another way to warn motorists of oncoming trains.
The malfunction started shortly before noon after CSX workers struck a buried electrical line near the Amtrak station on West National Avenue, said Effingham City Police Sgt. Jason McFarland. According to McFarland, there were no injuries when the cable was struck.
The railroad crossing arms were stuck in the upright position at Willow, Fourth, Fifth, Park and Maple street crossings. Because the arms were unable to come down, flares were used to warn drivers of oncoming trains. Motorists were advised to use Banker Street overpass as an alternate route.
According to Carla Groleau, communication director for CSX, there are many different ways the railroad company cautions drivers when an arm malfunctions, either by flares, flaggers or a train crew who will exit a train and stop traffic.
Groleau said the crossing arms resumed operation at approximately 2:30 p.m.