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Crossing Treatment Procedures

State Laws and Regulations

  • 17-4-8. Use of roadbed by railroad, telephone company, etc.

No railroad or electric or other railway shall be constructed upon the roadbed of any state road, except to cross the same, nor shall any person, firm or corporation enter upon or construct any works in or upon such road, or lay or maintain thereon or thereunder any drainage, sewer or water pipes, gas pipes, electric conduits or other pipes, nor shall any telephone, telegraph or electric line or power pole, or any other structure whatsoever, be erected upon, in or over any portion of a state road, except under such restrictions, conditions and regulations as may be prescribed by the state road commissioner. Whenever any railroad or electric or other railway, heretofore or hereafter constructed, shall cross any state road, it shall be required to keep its own roadbed, and the bed of the road or highway at such crossing, in proper repair, or else to construct and maintain an overhead or undergrade crossing, subject to the approval of the state road commissioner; and the tracks of such railroad or railway at grade crossings shall be so constructed as to give a safe and easy approach to and across the same, and when the construction of such approaches is made necessary by a change in the railroad grade at the grade crossing, the cost shall be upon the railway company.

  1. Va. Code Ann. § 17-4-8
  • 17-4-17. Same–Maintenance of work

After the construction of a grade separation under this article, where the highway is carried over the railroad the State shall maintain the state highway and the structures supporting it and the drainage thereof, and the railroad company shall maintain its tracks; and where the state highway is passed under the railroad then the State shall maintain the highway and the drainage thereof, and the railroad company shall maintain its roadbed and the tracks and the structures supporting the same: Provided, however, That the State, at its sole expense, shall bear the cost of repairing or replacing any part of such supporting structure which may be damaged or destroyed by highway traffic; and the railroad company, at its own sole expense, shall bear the cost of repairing or replacing any part of such supporting structure which may be damaged or destroyed by railroad traffic: Provided further, That the provisions of this section shall not be applicable to grade separations constructed prior to the effective date of this act.

  1. Va. Code Ann. § 17-4-17
  • 17-4-17a. Same–Relocation or reconstruction of existing grade separation structures

The state road commissioner shall have the same authority and follow the same procedure and the cost and maintenance provision shall be the same, in the relocation and reconstruction of existing grade separation structures, where the tracks of any railroad and any state road cross, as is provided in sections nine to seventeen, inclusive, of this article.

  1. Va. Code Ann. § 17-4-17a
  • 17-16-8. Duty of railroad company to keep state or county-district road in good condition

Every railroad company heretofore or hereafter incorporated which has, by the building of its road, or otherwise, obstructed, or shall hereafter obstruct, any state or county-district road, shall, as far as possible, put the road so obstructed in as good condition as it was in before the obstruction. Every railroad company which has changed, or shall hereafter change, the grade or location of any state or county-district road, shall put the same in as good condition and repair, and on as practical a grade, as such road was before its change; and if such road, after construction, becomes damaged or injured or is caused to be damaged or injured by reason of the construction of any railroad, such railroad company shall be liable for all damages occasioned thereby and for all costs incurred in repairing and keeping in repair the road so damaged or injured as aforesaid.

  1. Va. Code Ann. § 17-16-8

Blocked Crossings

State Laws, Regulations, and Penalties

  • 31-2A-2. Blocking of crossing prohibited; time limit

(a) It is unlawful for any railroad company, except in an emergency, to order, allow or permit the operation of or to operate or to so operate its system so that a train blocks the passage of vehicular traffic over the railroad crossing of any public street, road or highway of this state for a period longer than ten minutes. This section does not apply to an obstruction of any such street, road or highway caused by a continuously moving train or caused by circumstances wholly beyond the control of the railroad, but does apply to all other obstructions as aforesaid, including, but not limited to, those caused by a stopped train or a train engaged in switching, loading or unloading operations: Provided, That if any such train is within the jurisdictional limits of any municipality which now has or hereafter shall have in force and effect an ordinance limiting the time a railroad crossing may be blocked by a train, such ordinance shall govern, and the provisions of this article shall not be applicable.

(b) Upon receiving notification from a law-enforcement officer, member of a fire department, operator of an emergency medical vehicle, or a member of an emergency services provider that emergency circumstances require the immediate clearing of a public highway railroad grade crossing, the members of the train crew of the train, railroad car or equipment, or engine blocking such crossing shall immediately notify the appropriate railroad dispatcher of the pending emergency situation. Upon receipt of notice of such emergency circumstances by the train crew or dispatcher, the railroad shall immediately clear the crossing, consistent with the safe operation of the train.

  1. Va. Code Ann. § 31-2A-2

Warning Devices-Passive

State Laws and Regulations

  • 31-2-9. Signboards or warning notices at crossings

Every railroad company shall, at every place where a road or street crosses its railroad on the same level, erect and maintain suitable signboards or notices of warning apprising persons of the danger in crossing its tracks. All such signboards or notices shall be of the design and construction and shall be located in the manner required or approved by the state road commission. Any railroad company failing to comply with the provisions of this section shall be fined five dollars for each week that any such failure continues.

  1. Va. Code Ann. § 31-2-9

Warning Devices- Train Borne

State Laws, Regulations, and Penalties

  • 31-2-8. Warning of approach of train at crossings; crossing railroad tracks

A bell or steam whistle shall be placed on each locomotive engine, which shall be rung or whistled by the engineer or fireman, at a distance of at least sixty rods from the place where the railroad crosses any public street or highway, and be kept ringing or whistling for a time sufficient to give due notice of the approach of such train before such street or highway is reached, and any failure so to do is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not exceeding one hundred dollars; and the corporation owning or operating the railroad shall be liable to any party injured for all damages sustained by reason of such neglect. When the tracks, other than switch or sidetracks, of two railroads cross each other, or in any way connect at a common grade, the crossing shall be made and kept in repair, and watchmen maintained thereat at the joint expense of the companies owning the tracks; all trains or engines passing over such tracks shall come to a full stop not nearer than two hundred feet nor farther than eight hundred feet from the crossing and shall not cross until signaled so to do by the watchman, nor until the way is clear; and when two passenger or freight trains approach the crossing at the same time, the train on the road first built shall have precedence if the tracks are both main tracks over which all passengers and freights on the roads are transported; but if only one track is such main track, and the other is a side or depot track, the train on the main track shall have precedence; and if one of the trains is a passenger train and the other a freight train, the former shall take precedence; and regular trains on time shall take precedence over trains of the same grade not on time, and engines with cars attached not on time shall take precedence over engines without cars not on time: Provided, That if such two railroads crossing each other, or in any way connecting at a common grade, by works or fixtures to be erected by them render it safe to pass over such crossing without stopping, and such works and fixtures first be approved by the public service commission of West Virginia, and the plan thereof for such crossing designating the plan of crossing has been filed with said commission and approved by it, the provisions of this section relating to railroad crossings shall not apply.

  1. Va. Code Ann. § 31-2-8

Warning Devices- Active

State Laws and Regulations

No applicable statute relating to this topic.

Private Crossings

State Laws and Regulations

No applicable statute related to this topic.

Vegetation Clearance

State Laws, Regulations, and Penalties

No applicable statute related to this topic.