03/13/12 — Work planned on local railroad tracks

View Archive

Work planned on local railroad tracks

By From staff reports
Published in News on March 13, 2012 1:46 PM

Norfolk Southern work crews are replacing railroad ties on the line between Goldsboro and Selma over the next several days, and smoothing out the track, railroad officials say.

The railroad workers will cover about three miles per day, according to Robin Chapman, Norfolk Southern public relations manager.

The work is expected to be completed by Wednesday.

After marking the ties to be replaced, the team of 60 workers will install between 1,000 and 1,500 new ties per mile. After installing the new ties, the crews will start the surfacing process, which includes tamping the ties, leveling the track, and banking the curves.

The last time the ties along the 20-mile stretch were replaced and surfaced was 2003, Chapman said. The ties east of Goldsboro that run to the coast were replaced several years ago.

The wooden ties wear out over time and must be replaced to keep the track in good shape, Chapman said.

"The normal life span of a wood tie is 30 years," said Glenn Hartsoe of North Haven, Conn., a consulting engineer for the North Carolina Railroad Company. "About every seven years, Norfolk Southern goes in and replaces damaged, broken or rotted ties."

There are roughly 3,300 ties, spaced 20 inches apart, per mile of track, Hartsoe said.

"The railroad has played a long-standing and vital role in moving commerce across North Carolina," said Scott Saylor, North Carolina Railroad president. "The best way we can serve our customers and provide access to freight customers in eastern North Carolina is with a safe, efficient, and reliable railroad. The work will optimize train performance and safety."

The North Carolina Railroad Company owns and manages the 317-mile rail corridor extending from Morehead City to Charlotte. The North Carolina Railroad, chartered in 1849, is the state's oldest corporation and remains at the forefront of rail improvements and partnership development to promote jobs and rail-service industry across the state. It touches nearly a quarter of the state's economy.

During a recent transportation forum in Goldsboro, Saylor said another local project that will be under way this year is an almost $1 million project to replace the rail bridge over the Little River.