Train strikes tractor-trailer; closes U.S. 29 - INSIDENOVA.COM: Gainesville

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Train strikes tractor-trailer; closes U.S. 29

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Posted: Friday, July 26, 2013 7:41 pm

A train struck a tractor-trailer stopped on the tracks along U.S. 29 in Gainesville during Friday evening's rush hour. Again.

U.S. 29 was shut down in both directions near Linton Hall Road, and exits from Interstate 66 were closed, for about three hours after the wreck.

Traffic was at a stand still for miles around the crash.

The train hit a tractor-trailer around 7 p.m. No one was injured, said Prince William police spokesman Jonathan Perok. He said there's no estimate when the road will reopen.

The incident is the fifth time since late 2011 that a train has struck a vehicle on the tracks in Gainesville.

The last time it happened was in February, when another train struck another tractor-trailer sitting in traffic on the tracks.

The occurrence is so common, the Virginia Department of Transportation last January placed portable message signs at the tracks reminding motorists not to block the crossing while waiting at the red light.

All of the incidents have taken place during rush hour. There have been no serious injuries.

According to VDOT, the at-grade railroad crossings in Gainesville will be eliminated once two new overpasses are constructed.  

Late this summer, U.S. 29 traffic "will be switched to the new structure over the railroad tracks."

The entire Gainesville interchange project is expected to be complete in 2015.

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