CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Public Service Commission has announced a new feature on its website, an online portal where people can report trains that are illegally blocking one of the 8,000 public highway rail crossings in West Virginia.
West Virginia Code (§31-2A-2) states that except in the case of a continuously moving train or an emergency, it is illegal for a railroad company to block a public street, road or highway for longer than 10 minutes.
“Blocked highway-rail grade crossings are becoming a major problem in West Virginia,” stated Public Service Commission Chairman Charlotte Lane. “By reporting these issues, PSC Railroad Safety Inspectors will know where the problems are and will investigate the cause of the blockages. These findings will then be reported to the Federal Railroad Administration for review.”
In order to report a blocked crossing, citizens should write down the date, time and how long the crossing was blocked. Note what city, street or route you were traveling on and the DOT number on the blocked crossing. If possible, write down the numbers on the side of some of the cars or on the locomotive, PSC officials said.
Each public railroad crossing should have a bright blue emergency notification sign somewhere near the crossing. That sign will include the name and phone number of the railroad company and a unique identification AAR-DOT number, a six digit number followed by a letter, such as “123456 A.”
Once you have that information you can enter it in the online portal.