04/27/05 — Railroad to make improvements to track between here and Raleigh

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Railroad to make improvements to track between here and Raleigh

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on April 27, 2005 1:47 PM

The North Carolina Railroad Co. plans to spend $18 million to upgrade its rail line between Raleigh and Goldsboro.

Beginning this fall, the railroad will install three passing tracks totaling six miles. Also, a centralized traffic control system will be installed.

President Scott Saylor said the improvements will increase capacity, safety, speed and reliability for both freight and passenger trains.

"Current trends indicate that there will be an ever-increasing demand for rail service in the coming decades," Saylor said. "The railroad has many areas that need upgrading and modernization so we must choose projects with the greatest cost benefit and that promote economic development and the high quality of life that North Carolina offers."

The first phase of the project includes the construction of two new main passing tracks in the Auburn and Powatan areas of western Johnston County. East of Selma, two new yard tracks and a main passing siding track will be constructed.

The existing NCRR yard and siding tracks will be upgraded and extended, allowing trains to pass more freely.

Modern rail traffic control signaling will be installed between Raleigh and Pine Level and the sidings will be connected to the main track by high-speed, electronic-controlled switches.

The lines serve Amtrak passenger trains between Raleigh and Selma. Norfolk Southern operates freight trains, and the line crosses the CSXT freight north-south mainline.

Norfolk Southern Railway will oversee construction on the projects.

The improvements are funded with the railroad's lease revenues. The project was approved by its board of directors in 2003.

The North Carolina Railroad Co. owns and manages a 317-mile rail corridor from Morehead City to Charlotte. The railroad carries more than 60 freight trains operated by Norfolk Southern and eight Amtrak passenger trains daily. NCRR's stock is owned by the State of North Carolina and it is operated as a private company. The NCRR's mission is to manage, improve and protect the state's rail properties and corridors in a manner that will enhance freight and passenger service and promote economic development.