TITLE 17

Highways

CHAPTER 7. RAILROAD CROSSINGS OVER HIGHWAYS


(a) Every corporation operating any line of railroad within this State shall cause the approach of its locomotive engine to every public highway crossing such line of railroad at grade to be signalled by sounding 2 long blasts followed by 1 short blast followed by 1 long blast of the engine whistle on every such locomotive engine, beginning at least 300 yards from such crossing. Where 2 or more public highways cross any such railroad within a distance of 400 yards, the signal for the crossing first reached shall answer for all. This section shall not apply to the City of Wilmington, nor to any other crossings than those at grade nor to any such as are guarded by a watchperson or protected by safety gates.

(b) If any corporation neglects or omits the performance of the duty prescribed and imposed by subsection (a) of this section, it shall be fined for the first offense $20, for the second offense $40 and for every subsequent offense not more than $100.

(c) Every corporation operating any line of railroad within the State shall cause its trains to cross a highway or road for the public use within 10 minutes so that the highway or road is not blocked for any longer period of time, unless an emergency is the cause of the delay.

(d) Any corporation violating subsection (c) of this section shall be fined not less than $500 and not more than $1000 for the first conviction and not less than $1000 and not more than $2000 for each subsequent conviction which occurs within 1 year after a previous conviction.

(e) Justices of the peace shall have jurisdiction of offenses under this section. There shall be a right of appeal to the Court of Common Pleas in every case.

18 Del. Laws, c. 685, §§ 1, 2; Code 1915, § 1613; Code 1935, § 1699; 17 Del. C. 1953, § 705; 52 Del. Laws, c. 124; 57 Del. Laws, c. 371, §§ 1-3; 69 Del. Laws, c. 423, § 22; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

Whenever eliminating any grade crossing in this State is desired, either by lowering or raising the grade of any public road at such grade crossing, whereby it becomes necessary to take or occupy any property for the purpose of eliminating such grade crossing, or whereby any damage will be done to any property adjacent thereto, the owners of such property shall be paid or tendered such damages as they shall respectively be entitled to receive, whether the damages shall be caused by the Department or by any railroad company or companies whose tracks or roadbeds are located at the crossings, which damages shall be assessed as in cases of condemnation in accordance with the procedure prescribed in Chapter 61 of Title 10.

27 Del. Laws, c. 168; Code 1915, § 1615; 40 Del. Laws, c. 107; Code 1935, § 1702; 17 Del. C. 1953, § 706.;

(a) The Department may cross any canal, navigable stream or watercourse with a state highway, but in such manner as not unnecessarily to impede the navigation and use thereof, and also may cross any railroad or railway with a state highway and acquire the necessary easement for such crossing either by agreement with the owner, or on failure to agree, by condemnation thereof in accordance with Chapter 61 of Title 10. However, no state highway shall cross any railroad or railway at grade except at a point or place where such railroad or railway is now crossed at grade by a public road, provided, however, state highways may cross spurs, sidings and branchlines of any railroad or railway at grade if approval is first obtained from the Secretary of the Department of Transportation to whom reasons and supporting data for requesting at grade crossing shall be furnished. All at grade crossings so approved shall be furnished with crossing protection, required by applicable federal, state and local regulations.

(b) The Department may enter upon the lands or waters of any person for the purpose of making such examination and surveys for proposed highways as shall be required to be made in the selection of the most advantageous route for such highway, but subject at all times to responsibility for all and any damages which shall be done to the property of any such person or persons.

29 Del. Laws, c. 63, § 6; 34 Del. Laws, c. 79; Code 1935, § 5739; 46 Del. Laws, c. 257, § 1; 17 Del. C. 1953, § 707; 62 Del. Laws, c. 341, § 1.;

(a) Whenever in the opinion of the Department a public road crossing of a railroad at grade should be abandoned, the Department may close and vacate the public road or such part thereof as may be necessary to prevent the use of the grade crossing. If, in the opinion of the Department, the convenience of the traveling public requires it, the Department shall relocate the public road or the part thereof thus vacated and shall connect the public road with some other public road which crosses the railroad. The Department may acquire any land, building, franchise, easement or other property necessary for the relocation of the road by purchase thereof or by condemnation proceedings as provided in Chapter 61 of Title 10. The character of the construction of the relocated public road shall be at the discretion of the Department and need not conform to the usual standards of the Department.

(b) Whenever any public road is vacated, who shall enclose the same or any part thereof and what portion of the costs such persons ought to pay respectively shall be determined as provided in Chapter 13 of this title.

29 Del. Laws, c. 63, § 6; 34 Del. Laws, c. 80; Code 1935, § 5740; 17 Del. C. 1953, § 708.;

Repealed by 59 Del. Laws, c. 393, § 1.;

(a) No hedge, shrub, tree or solid fence shall be erected, planted or maintained within the railroad property or right-of-way and for a distance of 25 yards from the point where that property or right-of-way crosses any public or private road at which grade crossing protection is not provided by gates, warning lights or watchperson.

(b) If any railroad company, at any time, fails to comply with subsection (a) of this section, the Department shall notify the president or other executive officer of the company, in writing, stating the nature of the obstruction. If the company does not within 30 days thereafter comply with subsection (a) of this section, it shall be fined for the first offense $100, for the second offense $200 and for every subsequent offense not less than $500 nor more than $1,000.

(c) The Superior Court shall have jurisdiction of offenses under this section.

17 Del. C. 1953, § 711; 57 Del. Laws, c. 721; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;