New East Durham Passing Siding Helps Improve Train Reliability
The N.C. Department of Transportation has completed construction of a passing siding in the North Carolina Railroad Company’s East Durham yard that allows freight and passenger trains to pass with more efficiency and will continue to improve service reliability.
The new siding will help reduce congestion and delays by allowing for increased speeds and an additional location for trains to pass each other between Cary and West Durham. Track was realigned to straightened curves and accommodate the maximum track speed of 79 miles per hour. Electronically controlled switches were installed at each end of the siding so local trains can quickly exit the main track reducing the possibility of delay to passenger and other through trains.
“Upgrading existing rail corridors helps improve safety, efficiency and capacity for both passenger and freight trains,” said Patrick B. Simmons, NCDOT rail division director. “This project is an important piece in our efforts to modernize the railroad.”
The $6.5 million state-funded project constructed 12,200 feet of new main track, while the existing track became the passing siding. New power-operated switches and train control signals were also installed. As part of the project, one half mile of Rigsbee Road near Glover Road was relocated and will be paved in 2008. Municipal drainage was also improved in the East Durham area by enlarging and replacing culverts.
NCDOT engineers developed the project concept and primary design and guided the construction process. Norfolk Southern Railway developed final plans, constructed the project and will operate their freight trains over the new track.
Passing sidings are locations along a single-track railroad where trains can pass each other. These sidings accommodate freight trains that may include 100 to 150 cars and can be up to two miles long. Passing sidings help reduce congestion and delays on the railroad by providing longer and more frequent places for trains to pass each other.