Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 56. Public Service Companies
Chapter 13. Railroad Corporations
11/27/2022

Article 7. Safety Provisions.

§ 56-413. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1996, cc. 114 and 157.

§ 56-413.01. Locomotive and rail car standards.

All locomotives and rail cars operating over the tracks of a railroad company are subject to Federal Railroad Administration jurisdiction and shall be maintained in accordance with federal standards. Locomotives designed with spark arrestors shall be cleaned and maintained on a regularly scheduled basis.

1996, cc. 114, 157.

§ 56-413.1. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1996, cc. 114 and 157.

§ 56-414. Bell and whistle or horn; when sounded.

Every railroad company shall provide each locomotive passing upon its road with a bell of ordinary size and steam whistle or horn, and such whistle or horn shall be sharply sounded outside cities and towns at least twice at a distance of not less than 300 yards nor more than 600 yards from the place where the railroad crosses upon the same level any public highway or crossing, and such bell shall be rung or whistle or horn sounded continuously or alternately until the locomotive has reached such highway crossing, and shall give such signals in cities and towns as their local governing bodies may require.

The governing body of any county, city, or town may by ordinance require locomotives to sound their whistle upon approaching designated railroad trestles or bridges having lengths of 100 feet or more. Notice of any such requirement shall be given by registered mail to the registered agent of the railroad operating in the affected county, city, or town. Affected railroads shall comply with any such ordinance within 30 days of receiving the notice.

The governing body of any county, city, or town may, by ordinance adopted following a public hearing, petition the State Corporation Commission to enter an order, pursuant to the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure, requiring locomotives to sound their whistle or horn at specifically identified private crossings in the same manner as required for public crossings. If the Commission should deem the blowing of the locomotive whistle at such private crossings to be necessary in the interest of safety under all relevant circumstances, then it shall enter an order. The affected railroad shall comply with the order within 90 days of receipt by its registered agent of notice sent by registered mail and the locality must first install stop signs on both sides of such private crossing, to be paid for by the locality or the landowner. The Commission may establish and collect a fee, not to exceed its actual costs, from applicants for an order to sound locomotive whistles pursuant to this section.

Code 1919, § 3958; 1950, p. 944; 1956, c. 164; 1993, c. 483; 2003, c. 287.

§ 56-415. Penalty for violation of § 56-414.

Every officer or employee of any railway company, whose duty it shall be to carry out any of the provisions of § 56-414 and shall fail to do so, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding ten dollars for each offense.

Code 1919, § 3960.

§ 56-416. Effect of failure to give statutory signals.

If the employees in charge of any railroad engine or train fail to give the signals required by law on approaching a grade crossing of a public highway not protected with an automatically operating gate, operating wigwag signal or other operating electrical or operating automatic crossing protection device, the fact that a traveler on such highway failed to exercise due care in approaching such crossing shall not bar recovery for an injury to or death of such traveler, nor for an injury to or the destruction of property in his charge, where such injury, death, or destruction results from a collision on such crossing between such engine or train and such traveler or the property in his charge, respectively; but the failure of the traveler to exercise such care may be considered in mitigation of damages.

Code 1919, § 3959; 1964, c. 621.

§ 56-417. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1996, cc. 114 and 157.

§ 56-417.1. Clearance to be provided in construction, etc., of railroad structures.

No railroad, nor any person, firm or corporation operating any railroad shall hereafter construct or erect any track, building, sign, guidepost, switch stand or structure of any kind unless there is sufficient clearance provided for the safety of any employee or servant in the normal and customary operations of such railroad or any part thereof. The State Corporation Commission may inspect any such track or structure of any railroad in this Commonwealth, and upon complaint, or on its own motion and after timely notice to the railroad company affected and a hearing thereon, by proper order or orders, may require any railroad to make such changes as may be found necessary to safeguard and preserve the safety of its employees, servants and the general public. Provided, however, that this section shall not apply to any track, building, sign, guidepost, switch stand or structure of any kind in existence prior to January 1, 1953, nor to any private or industrial siding; provided, further, however, that any private or industrial siding constructed after January 1, 1953, shall, as far as practical, conform to the foregoing provisions.

1952, c. 710.

§ 56-418. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1996, cc. 114 and 157.

§ 56-419. Duplicate switch keys of railroads; unlawful making, etc.; punishment.

It shall be unlawful for any person to make, buy, sell, or give away to any other person any duplicate key to any lock belonging to, or in use by, any railroad company in this Commonwealth on its switches or switch tracks, except upon the written order of that officer of the railroad company whose duty it is to distribute and issue switch lock keys to the employees of such railroad company. Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor.

Code 1919, § 4019.

§ 56-419.1. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1996, cc. 114 and 157.

§ 56-419.2. Safety requirements applicable to vehicles transporting railroad employees.

A. As used in this section "motor vehicle" shall mean any motor vehicle designed for highway use, owned or operated by a railroad, whether or not it is used on the highways of this Commonwealth.

B. No motor vehicle shall be used for transporting one or more railroad employees three miles or more to or from a work situs unless such motor vehicle is constructed and maintained so as to provide safe transportation for such employees.

C. The requirement of safe transportation as set out hereinabove shall include, but not be limited to, the construction and maintenance of motor vehicles so as:

1. To provide an enclosure providing full cover from the elements for all railroad employees being so transported. Such enclosure shall be heated.

2. To provide within said enclosure fixed seats with backs for all railroad employees being so transported.

3. To provide a means to effectively communicate to the driver of the motor vehicle the emergency needs of the railroad employees being so transported.

D. The provisions of this section shall not apply to any motor vehicle when an emergency arises and such vehicle must be used to meet such an emergency.

E. The failure of any railroad company to correct any violation of this section within seven days from receipt of written notice thereof shall subject said company to the penalty provided by § 56-449; provided, however, any unsafe vehicle shall be removed immediately from service until repaired.

1977, c. 628.

§ 56-420. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1988, c. 7.