08/11/13 — Railroad siding is being built near LaGrange

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Railroad siding is being built near LaGrange

By From staff reports
Published in News on August 11, 2013 1:50 AM

LAGRANGE -- A $4 million project is under way to construct a new two-mile-long passing siding on the North Carolina Railroad tracks near LaGrange at the Wayne-Lenoir county line.

The project is expected to be completed this fall and will be the first lengthy passing track to be built along the 114-mile stretch of rail corridor between Selma and Morehead City, railroad company officials said.

A passing track, or siding, is a section of rail that runs parallel to a through line and is connected at both ends by switches. The sidings allow trains traveling in opposite directions to pass each other, and for faster trains to pass slower trains going in the same direction.

The siding will increase rail capacity on the eastern portion of the rail corridor to serve freight customers and military installations, the officials said.

The North Carolina Railroad is funding the project. Contractors and Norfolk Southern will construct the siding. Norfolk Southern will provide ongoing track maintenance.

Norfolk Southern operates its freight service on the North Carolina Railroad tracks and serves the Port of Morehead City, three military bases, and businesses and industries that use rail for shipping their products.

This siding project is just one of a series of capital improvements between Durham and Morehead City that will enhance safety and efficiency as well as create additional capacity to help increase track usage, the officials said.

"The North Carolina Railroad connects towns, communities and businesses all across the state and trains need tracks to pass each other," said NCRR President Scott Saylor. "Projects like these help maintain or increase train speed and allow for greater use. That's good for keeping businesses in North Carolina and attracting new ones."

The North Carolina Railroad Company owns and manages the 317-mile rail corridor running from the Port of Morehead to Charlotte that carries up to 60 freight trains and 10 passenger trains daily.