Shoulders Hill railroad crossing warnings malfunction

Published 3:46 pm Friday, March 7, 2014

A “stop-and-flag” operation was continuing Friday afternoon at the railroad crossing on Shoulders Hill Road after power to it was knocked out Thursday.

Power was cut after a vehicle ran into the power pole there about noon Thursday, said James Woods, general manager of Commonwealth Railway, which owns and maintains the crossing.

“We are waiting for a (power) pole to be placed and for (Dominion) Virginia Power to turn the power back on,” Woods said mid-afternoon Friday.

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In the interim, he said, railway crews were manning a “stop-and-flag” operation: “They will stop traffic going over on both sides, then a train will proceed across the crossing.”

Because train traffic over the crossing was light, only “one or two” flag operations were required daily, he said, adding crews leave once traffic is stopped and a train blocks the road.

“Once a train is on the crossing, that’s the end of our responsibility under federal regulations,” Woods said.