As the number of freight and passenger trains in North Carolina increases and highway traffic grows, the need for safety improvements at railroad crossings becomes more critical.
Through the Sealed Corridor Program, the N.C. Department of Transportation's Rail Division works with communities along the Raleigh-Charlotte corridor to eliminate or improve rail-highway crossings – intersections where roadways cross railroad tracks.
NCDOT has worked with Norfolk Southern, North Carolina Railroad Co. and CSX to "seal" the corridor between Raleigh and Charlotte by using enhanced traffic-control devices, closing crosses, and grade separations – separating rail from roadway traffic.
The program has involved reducing the number of crossings and placing gates and signals at crossings.
In 1992, only 30 percent of North Carolina's 5,000 public railroad crossings had flashing lights and gates. As of 2017, automatic warning devices were in place at 60 percent of the public crossings in North Carolina.