New railroad crossings signs up in New Kent County, following two deadly train crashes

Local News

NEW KENT COUNTY, Va. (WRIC)–After two deadly crashes at a New Kent train crossing this year, some changes have been made to keep people safe. But are they enough?

New Kent County Administrator, Rodney Hathaway, said the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) recently installed new railroad crossing signs near the Rockahock Road train tracks. The signs are yellow and read “no gates or lights.” They are located on the public right-of-way near Outpost and Allen Roads.

Hathaway said the signs were installed to inform travelers and increase awareness of the train crossings. Ed Allen Jr., who has lived near the private train crossing for years, said the new signage is a step in the right direction.

“It’s kind of hard not to see them. I mean they’re very visible, they’re made in a way that attracts your attention,” Allen said. “I think that’s about the best thing you could have without having the lights and cross arms.”

The improvements are in response to two separate deadly train crashes along Rockahock Road this year, which killed a man and a woman. The incident renewed calls from residents to put lights and arms there.

County leaders asked the state for help and also worked with the Economic Development Authority to create a grant program.

Hathaway said no one applied by their August deadline. The program would’ve provided funds to the private train crossing’s owners for signage and pavement markings.

“Property owners were not interested in receiving assistance from the EDA to improve signage and pavement markings on the private property where the crossings are located,” he said.

Allen said lights would probably never make it private railroad crossings because the property owners would be responsible for the cost, maintenance and installation.

“I haven’t seen a private crossing that has lights or arms,” he said. “I don’t care where it is. I haven’t seen one.”

As a longtime resident of New Kent County, Allen said he’s seen crashes at the train tracks before.

“Sometimes people don’t even stop. Most of the accidents on railroad crossings or a lot of them are with people who live right there,” he said. “They just get used to it and don’t pay attention to it.”

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

More Trending Stories

Local Events