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Thread: Gaulley Bridge Rail Crossing

  1. #1
    Registered User Fred Jernigan's Avatar
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    Unhappy Gaulley Bridge Rail Crossing

    As much as I hate to admit it, I was one of many? who crashed at the Gaulley Bridge Railroad crossing on the way to the rally. My crash was on Wednesday, 7-9-03 at about 2:30 in the afternoon during a rain storm. This was one slippery crossing and yes, I have read David Hough's book and I will read it again.

    Good news is that unlike some, I got away without injury thanks to some good gear (Aerostitch) and lots of luck. My poor KBOM went KBOM and she is hurt badly. Thanks to Willie Doolittle of Battle Creek, she got patched up and I was able to ride her home.

    Willie is a good guy.

    Anyone else out there willing to admit the agony of defeat?

    Mark your maps if you have not, this bridge is on route 60 on the east end of the bridge east of Gaulley West Virginia.

    Happy Landings.

    FJ

  2. #2
    List Mistress mrskbasa's Avatar
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    Fred,

    Glad to hear you weren't hurt.
    Tina Swider
    Sled Dog Touring Team
    Any bike I want that is in the garage

  3. #3
    Slash Trash DonS's Avatar
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    Gauley Bridge motorcycle accidents

    Hi FJ We talked on the phone for a minute or two today. I posted my story/request in this forum. Take a look and tell me what you think. I have another guy from Canada who crashed on my answering machine tonight. I hope we can accomplish something. Sore but sound, DonS

  4. #4
    Slowpoke & Proud of It! BRADFORDBENN's Avatar
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    Angry Looks like Conrail

    From looking at MapSource it looks like that line is a Conrail line.

    Where I live there is a large train yard and the grade level crossings are in bad shape but they are all wood or metal. Less slippery then the rubber from what I hear around hear.

    HTH.
    -=Brad

    It isn't what you ride, it is if you ride

  5. #5
    Mr Hubolt k75s's Avatar
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    Slippery Crossing

    Conrail no longer exists. It was merged into either the CSX or Norfolk Southern RR (NS).

    The crossing is now probably either CSX or NS RR. If the crossing has some kind of active warning system, either flashers or gates, there probably is what is called a DOT number posted on the metal electronics box near the crossing.

    The DOT number is 6 digits followed by an alpha (letter), something like this- 123456X

    It is possible there is a DOT tag at the crossing with this ID number.

    You can go to the FRA (Federal Railway Administration) website and plug the number into their on line database of crossings to find more information. The website is:

    http://safetydata.fra.dot.gov/officeofsafety/

    Many crossings are improved through federal and state funding, so it is possible the railroad did not specify the crossing surface to be used at this particular crossing, but there are many possibilities- maybe the surface has been worn over the years and is now slicker than when new.

    These accidents, while they did not involve a train and a vehicle need to be reported either to the railroad or the state or the FRA. The number of accidents at a crossing will raise the accident prediction value calculated from an FRA formula, and the higher the number, the higher the priority for the crossing to have federal and/or state dollars made available for improvements.

    I am just not sure if the FRA counts these as accidents since they did not involve a train-vehicle collision.

  6. #6
    Registered User Fred Jernigan's Avatar
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    Gaulley Bridge

    I think my pal Willie got this number you mention. It was on the post that supported the crossing lights. There are no crossing arms here.

    That evening, we walked back up to the crossing to look at it again and flagged down a CSX truck. Here are some quotes from the railroad employee:

    "What ya waaant me ta do, it's a state roaad"?

    "Somebody needs to learn to slow dawn".

    I took that second one a little personally.

    Thanks for all the well wishes and concerns.

    FJ

  7. #7
    Registered User Fritzc's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Gaully Bridge

    Fred,
    Glad you weren't hurt, other than your pride. I went across that
    spot on the Poker run sponsored by the Ronald McDonald House.
    It was Friday about 9:30 A.M. I Had stopped just before that by a big sign at a motel saying Buffet Breakfast. Some fellows were just loading a crashed bike onto a U-Haul Trailer. They warned me to slow down at that crossing as they had just wiped out and one of their guys was in the hospital. There was no breakfast that morning as the fine print said Saturday. Lucky for me I can't read very well otherwise I would not have stopped. When I got to the wet crossing I slowed to 20 MPH and still slipped noticeably with a pucker factor of about 8 1/2. Had I not been warned I surely would have gone down.
    We can share the details at breakfast Sunday.

    Fritz in Owosso

  8. #8
    Registered User Fred Jernigan's Avatar
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    Pucker

    Fritz,

    Glad you made it across. I think I sucked the seat right off the bike milli-seconds before the slide started.

    See ya soon,

    FJ

  9. #9
    ktennant
    Guest

    RR crossing

    A friends bike stepped out from under her while attempting to cross that crossing Saturday AM.
    She luckely only bruised her ribbs. The bike suffered a cracked cylinder head, a broken saddle bag and windshield.
    I wasn't with her at the time but she said that the Police and ambulance was there within just a few minutes. She also showed me the crashing award the police gave her. $70.00 fine.

  10. #10
    Registered User Fred Jernigan's Avatar
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    Insult to Injury

    The ultimate irony. A condition so hazardous that the locals all talk about it as you are piecing yourself back together, and then they give you a citation for speed too fast or some such violation.

    As my friend Willie and I tossed it back and forth about calling the authorities, we struck on the idea that perhaps the old addage, offense is better than defense might apply. I just faded away into that vast sea of "yeah, two bikers go down there everytime it rains".

    West Virginia didn't get much of my hide thank God. I'll need multiples of $70 to fix the bike. I'm sorry about your friends ribs.

  11. #11
    buzzez
    Guest

    Google search on bike accidents "result"

    I did a google seach and found this:

    BIKER ACCIDENTS
    By: Jenifer McAndrews

    SEVERAL BIKERS, ON THEIR WAY HOME FROM THE RALLY, HAVE ENDED UP IN ACCIDENTS..
    THREE RIDERS WRECKED ON A SLIPPERY SECTION OF ROAD, OFF ROUTE-60 NEAR CATHEDRAL FALLS IN FAYETTE COUNTY.. POLICE ARE REPORTING THE B-M-W RIDERS' ACCIDENT'S OVER A SET OF WET RAILROAD TRACKS.. NO ONE WAS SERIOUSLY HURT..
    ALSO, ANOTHER MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT ALONG THAT SAME STRETCH, ABOUT TWO HOURS EARIER, BLAMED ON THE SAME ROAD CONDITION. POLICE REPORTING THE ROAD'S UP TO D-O-H STANDARDS BUT THEY GET NUMEROUS ACCIDENT REPORTS ALONG THOSE TRACKS.

  12. #12
    Brent Aikman
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    Gaulley Bridge Rial Crossing

    Sorry to hear that some riders were taken down by that crossing. I grew up in Charleston and rode extensively in WV before moving to Phoenix, AZ. That crossing, even on dry days, always made me pucker. Route 60 was our easiest, and most fun, escape out of town and into the 'fun' areas of WV riding. Many people have ended up going down when crossing that set of tracks. Unfortunately, the State DOH will not do anything about it. We hounded them for years.

    I am sorry that I could not attend the Rally in my home city this year. I do hope that you all had a good time, regardless of the bad tracks.

    Best,
    Brent Aikman
    '96 K11RS
    Phoenix, AZ
    formerly, Charleston, WV.

  13. #13
    Unregistered
    Guest

    A good offense

    Perhaps a couple of guys armed with pry bars could force them to fix this.

  14. #14
    LuckyRookie LUCKYROOKIE's Avatar
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    Re: RR crossing

    Originally posted by ktennant
    A friends bike stepped out from under her while attempting to cross that crossing Saturday AM.
    She luckely only bruised her ribbs. The bike suffered a cracked cylinder head, a broken saddle bag and windshield.
    I wasn't with her at the time but she said that the Police and ambulance was there within just a few minutes. She also showed me the crashing award the police gave her. $70.00 fine.
    Update that to $125 fine for "Failure to control the vehicle." The ribs are healing up.

  15. #15
    buzzez
    Guest
    >Update that to $125 fine for "Failure to control the vehicle." The >ribs are healing up.

    Thats outrageous. The police knew damn well that was a dangerous section of the road.
    I wonder how many others received tickets.
    I'm glad the ribs are getting better.

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