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Reston in Fairfax County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Train Wrecks
 
Train Wrecks Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, November 19, 2009
1. Train Wrecks Marker
 
Inscription. Accidents happened on the Washington & Old Dominion. Mishaps resulted from washouts of the roadbed, loose rails, rotting ties, or from livestock wandering across the tracks. Crew negligence also played a part.

One of the earliest and most serious accidents occurred in Round Hill, Virginia. On Christmas Day 1874, an engine in the process of being turned around fell off the turntable and crushed a crewman.

Perhaps the most dangerous situation arose from dozens of at-grade street crossings. Despite automatic warning signals and train whistles, automobile drivers often could not resist the temptation to outrun what looked like slow-moving trains.

In 1952 on Shirley Highway (I-395), a dump truck loaded with asphalt failed to brake in time and hit a westbound locomotive. The engine was plunged into an embankment, freight cars were derailed, and several people were injured. The driver of the truck was killed.
 
Erected by The Washington & Old Dominion Railroad Regional Park - Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Washington and Old Dominion Railroad marker series.
 
Location. 38° 57.32′ N, 77° 21.066′ W. Marker is in Reston, Virginia
 
Train Wrecks Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, November 19, 2009
2. Train Wrecks Marker
 
, in Fairfax County. Marker is on Old Reston Avenue, on the right when traveling north. Click for map. Located at the Sunset Hills Station trail stop. Marker is in this post office area: Reston VA 20190, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Sunset Hills Station (within shouting distance of this marker); The Rail Strike of 1916 (approx. 2.1 miles away); Mosby’s Herndon Station Raid (approx. 2.1 miles away); Herndon Station (approx. 2.1 miles away); Tracks Into History (approx. 2.1 miles away); Acetylene Gas Generating Station (approx. 2.2 miles away); Cartersville Baptist Church (approx. 2.2 miles away); Laura Ratcliffe (approx. 2.8 miles away).
 
More about this marker. This marker is duplicated at different points along the trail. A smaller inset photograph shows "A W&OD train crosses Shirley Highway (I-395) at Shirlington in 1868." The background photo of the accident from 1952 is captioned, "A fatal accident at the same location in 1952. The hazards of road crossings were a major reason for the abandonment of the railroad."
 
Also see . . .  W & OD Railroad. A detailed listing of the stations along the W & OD. (Submitted on December 3, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
The Sunset Hills Trail Stop Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, November 19, 2009
3. The Sunset Hills Trail Stop
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on November 30, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 2,512 times since then. Photos:   1. submitted on November 30, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   2, 3. submitted on December 3, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.
 
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