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'We're trapped by trains': East Temple homeowners say they can’t get in or out of their neighborhood thanks to Union Pacific

A Temple woman says Union Pacific trains are keeping homeowners from leaving their neighborhood in East Temple on Munroe Ave.

TEMPLE, Texas —

A Temple woman said Union Pacific trains are keeping homeowners from leaving their neighborhood in East Temple, an area that has only one road to access the rest of the city.  

Rhonda Juarez told Channel 6 Sunday that Union Pacific stops trains several times a week on that road, preventing the five families who live in the area from getting out or getting in. 

“We can’t get to our own house,” Juarez said. “Can’t get to work, school, doctors appointments.”

Juarez said her biggest concern was that fire and EMS services would not be able to access the area during an emergency. 

She said she called Union Pacific many times but often got the same explanation. 

“They say, ‘We park our train there because we don't pay overtime, so we pull our crew off and when a new crew comes. That's when the train will move.'” Juarez said.

Union Pacific Representative Kristen South told Channel 6 over the phone the overtime rules do sometimes result in parked trains, but she could not tell how often it happens. 

South said she did not have any complaints in the Temple area, but when Channel 6 called the hotline South suggested at 1-888-877-7267 we found out that it went to the same call center Juarez had called in the past. 

Channel 6 also found out complaints could only be made by phone when an event was currently happening or by sending a letter to a Union Pacific office in Nebraska. 

Channel 6 eventually found the information for the office and learned the office was headed by Senior Director Benjamin W. Jones. 

Jones can be reached at BWJones1@up.com.   

To ensure Union Pacific will have a record of the issue in Temple, Channel 6 sent emails to Jones and several other Union Pacific representatives for the Texas area.

Channel 6 will follow up with those representatives this week. 

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