Falls Church, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
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° 53.443′ N, 77° 10.654′ W. Marker is in Falls Church Click for map. Just to the west of the Oak Street crossing of the W&OD Railroad Trail. Marker is in this post office area: Falls Church VA 22046, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Living in Fear (approx. 0.3 miles away); Original West Corner Stone (approx. 0.4 miles away); West Falls Church Station (approx. 0.4 miles away); Tracks into History (approx. 0.4 miles away); Hangman's Tree (approx. 0.4 miles away); Cherry Hill (approx. 0.4 miles away); Falls Church Home Front (approx. 0.4 miles away); Virginia Training School (approx. 0.4 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Falls Church.
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 . . .
1. The Washington and Old Dominion Railroad. Book by Ames Williams available on Amazon.com
2. Rails to the Blue Ridge: The Washington and Old Dominion Railroad, 1847 - 1968. Book by Herbert Harwood available on Amazon.com
Categories. • Railroads & Streetcars •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 2,956 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.