09/14/08 — Railroad spur proposed; will connect to Global TransPark

View Archive

Railroad spur proposed; will connect to Global TransPark

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on September 14, 2008 10:55 AM

KINSTON -- Lenoir County residents got a look Thursday at the proposed routes for a 5.5-mile railroad spur that would serve the Global TransPark.

State Department of Transportation officials held an informational workshop at the TransPark Center for people who would be affected by the building of the spur, which is designed to carry freight directly from the existing east-west rail line north to the TransPark.

Three alternative routes are being considered. All three would leave the existing rail line near the intersection of U.S. 70 bypass and U.S. 70 business, just east of U.S. 258 North. The existing railroad line runs roughly parallel to U.S. 70, just north of the highway.

All three alternatives run within a mile of one another and would cross both Hull Road and Dobbs Farm Road on their way to the TransPark, which is located on the north side of the city.

Paul Koch of Stantec, the consulting firm helping state DOT engineers with the environmental planning for the project, said a route should be chosen near the end of the year, with right of way acquisition and environmental permitting expected to take about a year. Construction is expected to take about three years to complete.

Koch said initially only a few train cars a week would use the spur, to carry large airplane parts to the TransPark's newest tenant, Spirit AeroSystems. The rail traffic would increase as more businesses locate at the TransPark, he said.

Planning for the railroad spur has been on the drawing board for several years, he said.

The plans also show future extensions of the line to serve additional manufacturers that might locate at the industrial park.

Dozens of people attended the two-hour session, most landowners who would be affected by the building of the spur.