Dozen crossings to get new signage

Published 10:09 pm Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The city is preparing to post signage at 12 railroad crossings in the city, noting that service on the line has been discontinued and drivers of vehicles such as school buses no longer have to stop at the crossing.

The signs will be posted Aug. 2 at crossings of the Norfolk, Franklin and Danville Railway west of the crossing of Carolina Road. All crossings beginning at Turlington Road to the boundary with Isle of Wight County are affected.

According to a study on the issue, crossings of abandoned rail lines present a different kind of safety problem. Motorists who consistently drive over these crossings that are not maintained and have traffic control devices but never see a train may develop a careless attitude toward train crossings in general, causing them not to take appropriate caution at active crossings.

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In addition, an abandoned track causes unnecessary delays for special vehicles required by law to stop in advance of every crossing, such as school buses, for-hire vehicles carrying passengers and vehicles transporting hazardous materials. Other motorists might not expect these vehicles to stop, creating a hazard.

An example of the exempt signage on a railroad crossing. (City of Suffolk photo)

The railroad company has removed the automatic gates along the line, turned the flashing lights away from the roadway and disconnected power to the warning system, according to the study.

The affected crossings are at:

  • Turlington Road
  • Manning Road
  • Manning Bridge Road
  • Copeland Road
  • Lummis Road
  • Pioneer Road
  • Longstreet Lane
  • Dutch Road
  • South Quay Road
  • Brentwood Road
  • Elwood Road
  • Harvest Drive

More information is available by visiting and clicking on the NF&D Discontinuance Study tab.