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Local law enforcement agencies, Class Is and Keolis have joined the Virginia Railway Express (VRE) this summer in delivering a safety message via "railroad crossing safety blitzes" aimed at Virginia motorists.Officials from VRE, its private operator Keolis, CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern Railway have been working with police officers at grade crossings throughout the summer to alert motorists to slow down and exercise caution near railroad tracks. The education campaign has been communicated through dissemination of a railroad safety brochure and personalized letter, VRE officials said in a press release.
VRE has conducted blitzes at Battle, Main and West Streets in Manassas; Featherstone and Cherry Hill Roads in Prince William County; Railroad Avenue in Quantico; and Lansdowne and Mine Road in Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania County. Local homeowners associations also have assisted the effort by distributing information in newsletters and on websites. The Burke Centre planned community on VRE's Manassas Line agreed to share the safety message with its 6,000 homes and businesses.
VRE also has partnered with Operation Lifesaver to support its "See Tracks? Think Train!" campaign.
"If our message gets someone to pause and fully consider the risks and avoid a shortcut across the tracks or a race with an oncoming train through a crossing, then the work we are doing in the communities is worth it ten-fold," said VRE System Safety and Security Manager Greg Deibler.