PENDLETON — Railroad crossing arms throughout Pendleton dropped around 5 a.m. Monday but no train was on the tracks.
Pendleton Police Chief Stuart Roberts said his department contacted Union Pacific Railroad at 5:04 a.m., and the company reported it would get back to the police in about an hour. Roberts said as of 7:30 a.m. there was no word from Union Pacific.
Pendleton police routed traffic around the arms. Roberts said it amounts to one more thing for Pendleton officers deal with during the town’s biggest event.
Railroad issues are regular part of that mix. Union Pacific has its own police force and sends some of its officers to town this week. The officers are state certified, can issue citations, investigate crimes and make arrests. They typically deal with vehicles and pedestrians trespassing on tracks to get to events during Round-Up week.
People and vehicles also are the primary reason trail whistles blow during Round-Up week. Pendleton is one of the few communities in the nation to have an exclusion to the federal requirement for trains to sound their whistles before entering a public highway/rail crossing. Train crews, however, can blow the whistle in cases of emergencies, such as people walking on the tracks.