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 works with Norfolk Southern, North Carolina Railroad Co. and CSX to "seal" the corridor between Raleigh and Charlotte by using enhanced traffic-control devices, closing crossings, and grade separations — separating rail from roadway traffic.
The program includes reducing the number of crossings and installing flashing lights and gates to protect motorists.
In 1992, only 30 percent of the 5,000 public railroad crossings in North Carolina had flashing lights and gates. As of April 2020, these safety devices were in place at 62 percent of the state's public crossings.