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Author Topic: North Carolina trying to reactivate abandoned rail  (Read 1359 times)

spuwho

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North Carolina trying to reactivate abandoned rail
« on: February 11, 2013, 06:49:30 PM »
Per Trains Newswire:

North Carolina desires restoration of abandoned rail line

RALEIGH, N. C. – Legislators in North Carolina filed a bill today calling on the state's department of transportation to upgrade some existing rail lines and fund the restoration of 27 miles of abandoned railroad between the towns of Castle Hayne and Wallace. The line was abandoned by CSX Transportation in the 1990s. Proponents hope that the rail line will give an economic boost to the Port of Wilmington.

House Bill 86 is primarily backed by State Reps. Susi Hamilton and Phil Shepard. The bill directs NCDOT to "seek funding" of $65.2 million, of which $50 million is set aside for the restoration of the Castle Hayne-Wallace line. The remainder of the money called for in the bill would go towards upgrades of an existing CSX route from Castle Hayne to Wilmington.

According to a report by the Wilmington Star News, a 2004 study estimated that the cost of relaying the route would be approximately $49 million.

Wilmington is presently served via a CSX line from the west over the Wilmington Subdivision. The Wallace-Castle Hayne section stretches north from Wilmington, and would connect with the end of the CSX W&W Subdivision to Goldsboro.

The abandoned route was part of the Wilmington & Western Railroad, and later the Atlantic Coast Line. CSX abandoned the line in the 1980s. NCDOT purchased the corridor in 1994. There are no tracks presently on the route. Five bridges were removed and would also need to be replaced.

The bill cites the movement of military equipment to the Port of Wilmington as a primary reason for reopening this route. North Carolina is home to several military bases, including the U.S. Marine base at Camp Lejeune. Presently these bases send equipment for overseas transport to either Norfolk, Va., or Charleston, S.C. Restoration of the rail line would cut transit times from Camp Lejeune to the Wilmington by four hours.

"There is a hole that goes through southeastern North Carolina," Hamilton told the paper.

Although the bill directs NCDOT to seek funding for the project, it does not identify any specific funding source. State officials note that there are no specific state funds identified for the line at this time. A spokesperson for CSX told the Wilmington Star News that it had no interest in investing its money into the route, but it would be "happy to discuss the matter with the state."

BackinJax05

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Re: North Carolina trying to reactivate abandoned rail
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2013, 11:38:52 PM »
Once again, more short sightedness on the part of CSuX. Considering how many miles of tracks theyve pulled up over the years, its amazing they still have a railroad left.

Ocklawaha

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Re: North Carolina trying to reactivate abandoned rail
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2013, 09:39:07 AM »
It boils down to what the railroad business is. CSX is NOT in business to run trains, they are in business to serve customers. Many miles (certainly not all miles) of track through the pine flats of the coastal Carolina's had zero businesses located on line. There was also the problem and economies of redundant lines, when the Atlantic Coast Line and the Seaboard Air Line Railroads merged to form Seaboard Coast Line (ultimately CSX) they had the ability to prune duplicated routes. Places like Wilmington were served by multiple routes of two railroad companies, a reality check would demonstrate that the industrial base or the port didn't originate sufficient car loadings for two railroad companies let along five railroad lines.


BackinJax05

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Re: North Carolina trying to reactivate abandoned rail
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2013, 10:20:53 PM »
Good point. Now to get off topic for a moment: I still say pulling up the S Line between Savannah & Woodbine, GA (enroute to Jacksonville) was one of the stupidest things CSuX has ever done.

Ocklawaha

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Re: North Carolina trying to reactivate abandoned rail
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2013, 11:00:21 PM »
That was a trade off for immediate relief as opposed to a longer term better solution. The old Seaboard Air Line Railroad Mainline (the same one that runs from Springfield Yard north along Main, over the Trout River and on to Yulee and Kingsland) was all single track with jointed rail which is maintenance intensive. At 140 miles it was the short route from SAV to JAX. Amtrak's Silver Meteor used to cover it at an average speed of 74 MPH, including one stop at Thalman. The remaining route includes the Nahunta "cutoff" at 170 miles. This former Atlantic Coast Line route was double tracked from Jacksonville to Folkston and included the option of the Nahunta short-cut or via Waycross (which is still the primary freight line). The entire 140 miles wasn't removed, just roughly 100 miles between Riceboro GA and Seals GA (just above Kingsland). The major bridges were left in place for a 'rail trail' which preserves the right-of-way for future railroad use. Expect if we ever see a real commitment to build out Southeast High Speed Rail (which already reaches Charlotte, and will soon relay another gap in the old Seaboard from Richmond to Raleigh) expect to see the old Seaboard north of Jacksonville as the route of choice.

If_I_Loved_you

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Re: North Carolina trying to reactivate abandoned rail
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2013, 01:56:58 AM »
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                     The only way to truly ride the abandoned rail. :)