News Releases

11/4/2016: Rail Improvement Program Receives $10 Million Funding Boost

Rail Improvement Program Receives $10 Million Funding Boost

Posted 11/4/2016 12:56:48 PM

RALEIGH – The Rail Division of the N.C. Department of Transportation has awarded an additional $10 million for the Freight Rail and Rail Crossing Safety Improvement program for fiscal year 2017. State officials accelerated the project selection process because several of the ranked projects involve railroads damaged by flooding from Hurricane Matthew. “These investments will enhance safety and improve rail infrastructure connections to economic development opportunities,” Rail Director Paul Worley said. “Both of these priorities satisfy goals outlined in Governor McCrory’s 25-Year Vision for Transportation in North Carolina.” The Freight Rail and Rail Crossing Safety Improvement program was established by legislation signed into law by Governor McCrory in 2013. The newly-approved funding brings the total program amount to $13.75 million for the year. Four shortline improvement projects were selected for funding, with half of the cost coming from state funds and the other half from private investment: $1.7 million to upgrade bridges in Wake, Nash, Wilson and Beaufort counties and to replace more than 10,000 crossties over 31 miles of track in Wake, Johnston, Nash and Wilson counties. Other elements of this project include rail roadbed and crosstie replacement to accommodate heavier railcars in key areas; $7.3 million to return a section of railroad to service in Columbus County between Chadbourn and Whiteville, as well as other track upgrades from Chadbourn to Tabor City and into South Carolina to connect the line to the national rail system; $725,000 to replace five culverts and harden the railroad over 29 miles in Currituck, Camden and Pasquotank counties; and $393,594 to build a new truck/train transload facility in Hoke County, and to replace crossties and harden the railroad for eight miles in Cumberland and Hoke counties. Officials also approved $1 million for a safety improvement project in Salisbury. The project will accelerate the elimination of a highway/rail at-grade crossing at Henderson Grove Church Road by developing the right-of-way plans for a more efficient access roadway to Julian Road. ***NCDOT***
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10/24/2016: Section of Back Creek Church Road Closing Next Month

Section of Back Creek Church Road Closing Next Month

Posted 10/24/2016 12:09:48 PM

Closure scheduled through mid-December CHARLOTTE – The Department of Transportation will be closing Back Creek Church Road at N.C. 49 in Charlotte beginning Wednesday, Nov. 9 to reconstruct the existing railroad crossing. The project is part of railroad improvements between Harrisburg and Charlotte through the Piedmont Improvement Program. The closure is scheduled through Dec. 19. A detour will be posted along Back Creek Church Road, Caldwell Road and N.C. 49. Drivers are encouraged to slow down when approaching the work zone, and to pay extra attention to construction and detour signs. Projects like this will improve connectivity between Raleigh and Charlotte by modernizing the state’s rail systems. These projects are funded in large part by federal stimulus dollars from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. For real-time travel information, visit the Traveler Services section of or follow NCDOT on Twitter. ***NCDOT***
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8/25/2016: N.C. Railways to Benefit from Grant for Safety Technology

N.C. Railways to Benefit from Grant for Safety Technology

Posted 8/25/2016 2:09:21 PM

Raleigh – The state will soon be able to purchase new equipment needed to meet a nationwide mandate on rail safety standards, thanks to a federal grant awarded to the N.C. Department of Transportation last week. “The safe movement of passengers and freight on our rail system is our top priority,” said Transportation Secretary Nick Tennyson. “These funds will help us ensure that we have the technology to prevent crashes and save lives.” North Carolina is one of only six states to receive funds from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration to assist with the implementation of Positive Train Control systems. Positive Train Control uses global positioning systems and other technology to monitor and control train movements in order to prevent collisions, derailments, incursions into work zones, and trains going onto the wrong tracks. Last year, Congress extended the deadline to comply with Positive Train Control requirements until December 2018. “North Carolina has been on the leading edge of efforts to achieve compliance with federal mandates,” said state Rail Director Paul Worley. “As new equipment comes online, this funding will help us enhance our state’s rail network and meet the goals outlined in Governor McCrory’s 25-Year Vision for transportation in North Carolina for improving passenger rail.” The state is making additional investments in rail safety, such as a series of rail and highway construction projects known as the Piedmont Improvement Program. This initiative includes constructing 12 bridges to separate traffic from trains, eliminating more than two dozen railroad crossings and adding 31 miles of passing track. The state will receive $771,070 to equip five converted Cab Control Units with Interoperable Electronic Train Management Systems. The grant will also pay for system tests on the Piedmont corridor or within any adjacent rail territory of the state’s rail partners, Norfolk Southern Corporation and Amtrak. Thirty jurisdictions from across the nation applied for funding, but only 11 projects received a grant. *** NCDOT ***  
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7/12/2016: Transportation Officials Hold Ribbon Cutting for Durham Rail Project

Transportation Officials Hold Ribbon Cutting for Durham Rail Project

Posted 7/12/2016 8:22:36 AM

RALEIGH – State transportation officials gathered in Durham July 12 to celebrate the completion of a railroad construction project designed to enhance rail safety and efficiency. “To help fulfill Governor McCrory’s 25-Year Vision, our Rail Division is working to enhance rail safety and connectivity across the state,” said N.C. Transportation Secretary Nick Tennyson. “These projects will modernize railroad track, roads and bridges along the corridor between Raleigh and Charlotte.” The project is funded through a grant from the Federal Railroad Administration and was completed in partnership with the North Carolina Railroad Company and Norfolk Southern Railway. Construction on the Hopson Road grade separation and passing track project began in 2013 and was the first Piedmont Improvement Program project to break ground. It was designed to improve road safety and speed up train travel along the Charlotte-Raleigh corridor by eliminating railroad crossings at Hopson Road and Church Street. A bridge wide enough to accommodate any future widening of Hopson Road was also built to carry train tracks over the road, replacing the existing street level crossing. The project also constructed a new 3.3-mile passing track between McCrimmon Parkway in Morrisville and I-40 in Durham.  The improvements will help provide schedule reliability for passenger service as the addition of a second track will allow passenger trains to pass slower freight trains. The new bridge over Hopson Road will reduce the risk of automobile/train collisions, improve safety for automobile and rail passengers and reduce automobile and train traffic congestion. “This project is a result of long-term vision and collaboration among all the partners involved,” said Scott Saylor, President of the North Carolina Railroad Company. “The Hopson Road grade separation and new passing track will have an immediate and significant impact on both rail and highway safety, as well as increased efficiencies for our freight and passenger rail providers.” Delivery of the $27 million project is a partnership effort. NCDOT constructed the railroad bridge, road realignment and grading work for the parallel track. Norfolk Southern built the additional track line, and the North Carolina Railroad Company purchased the land for railroad improvements. ***NCDOT*** U-4716ABC  
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Durham/Morrisville Railroad Improvements and Grade Separation
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6/10/2016: Mebane Event Promotes Rail Safety

Mebane Event Promotes Rail Safety

Posted 6/10/2016 12:09:22 PM

RALEIGH – Pedestrians and motorists passing through downtown Mebane got a quick lesson in rail safety Friday. N.C. Transportation’s Rail Division teamed up with the Mebane and Burlington police departments, as well as Alamance County and Orange County sheriff departments, North Carolina Operation Lifesaver and the N.C. Highway Patrol to distribute safety information at the intersection of West Center Street and 3rd Street, near the railroad crossing. So far in 2016, nine people in North Carolina have died after being struck by a train, and 17 people have been injured. N.C. Transportation is working to curb train-related crashes, fatalities and injuries in the state as part of Governor McCrory’s 25-Year Vision to promote rail and transportation safety. The event, called a crossing blitz, was part of International Level Crossing Awareness Day, which focuses on promoting safe behavior by motorists and pedestrians around street-level railroad crossings. Rail Safety Tips Motorists:  Always stop your vehicle when crossing gates are down or lights are flashing. Wait for the crossing gates to rise and the lights to stop flashing before continuing through the crossing. Look both ways, listen and proceed with caution. For your safety, obey all signs and signals at railroad crossings. Never stop your car on railroad tracks. When approaching an intersection at railroad tracks, keep your car behind the white stop line. Be aware that trains may operate at any time throughout the day and night in either direction. Pedestrians: Never walk or run on railroad tracks. Remember: “Tracks are for trains. Stay away and stay alive.” Walking on or near railroad tracks is dangerous - and illegal. Trains in North Carolina operate up to 79 miles per hour and can take more than a mile to come to a complete stop. Railroad tracks are on private property – you can be cited for trespassing. Do not cycle or operate all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) on railroad tracks or railroad rights of way. Do not hunt, fish or bungee jump from railroad trestles or bridges. They are not designed to be sidewalks - there is only enough clearance for a train to pass. Always look both ways before crossing railroad tracks and cross only in designated areas. Do not cross tracks when gates are down. Be aware that trains may operate at any time during the day and night in either direction. Do not attempt to hop on board railroad cars or locomotives at any time. ***NCDOT***
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