Reston in Fairfax County, 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.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Railroads & Streetcars. In addition, it is included in the NOVA Parks 🏞️, and the Washington and Old Dominion Railroad 🚂 series lists. A significant historical year for this entry is 1874.
Location. 38° 57.32′ N, 77° 21.066′ W. Marker is in Reston, Virginia, in Fairfax County. Marker is on Old Reston Avenue, on the right when traveling north. Located at the Sunset Hills Station trail stop. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Reston VA 20190, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Sunset Hills Station (within shouting distance of this marker); Veteran's Memorial (approx. 1.1 miles away); John Wesley Powell (1834-1902) (approx. 1.1 miles away); Julia Anna Gardner (1882-1960), Ph.D. (approx. 1.1 miles away); Randolph Wilson Bromery (1926-2013), Ph.D. (approx. 1.1 miles away); Robert E. Simon, Jr. / Reston, Virginia (approx. 1.1 miles away); Reston (approx. 1.1 miles away); "October Glory" Red Maple (approx. 1.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Reston.
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.)
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on November 30, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 3,288 times since then and 25 times this year. 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.