North Carolina Railroad Company, North Carolina Department of Transportation and Norfolk Southern Partner to Improve Railroad Crossings in Eastern North Carolina

Raleigh, NC, July 30, 2008 --( The N.C. Department of Transportation’s Rail Division (NCDOT), the North Carolina Railroad Company (NCRR) and Norfolk Southern Railway (NS) are making safety improvements to 43 at-grade public crossings between Selma and Morehead City in Johnston, Wayne, Lenoir, Craven and Carteret counties. Completion of all improvements will take approximately three years and cost an estimated $7.6 million dollars.

NCDOT will contribute about 56 percent of the crossing improvement costs through Federal Crossing Safety Funds. NCRR will contribute about 24 percent and Norfolk Southern about 20 percent. The project will also evaluate public crossings that have potential for closure.

“Through the cooperative efforts of public-private partnerships like these, we continue to improve safety and modernize the railroad for increased capacity and speed,” said Patrick Simmons, NCDOT rail division director.

Scott Saylor, NCRR President, said “As the state grows, traffic increases at crossings. We want to ensure that these crossings are improved for safety and to meet increased train and highway traffic. We’ve invested more than $50 million in this line since 2001.”

“Operation Lifesaver applauds this partnership project between NCDOT, NCRR and NS to make crossings safer,” said Vivian Speight-Bridges, Executive Director NC Operation Lifesaver. “Safer crossings as well as knowing the rules of rail safety can prevent serious injury around trains. The best rule to remember is, ‘A train can come at any time, always expect a train.’”

This project is part of NCDOT’s comprehensive statewide program to enhance safety by adding or improving signals and gates at public highway/railroad at-grade crossings. Mechanical warning devices are now in place at more than 2,400 of North Carolina's 4,121 public at-grade crossings.

The North Carolina Railroad Company owns and manages the 317-mile rail corridor extending from Morehead City to Charlotte. The railroad carries 70 freight trains and eight passenger trains daily. It manages, improves and protects its properties and corridor to enhance freight and passenger service and promote economic development. NCRR is the state’s oldest corporation and remains at the forefront of rail improvements and partnership development to promote jobs and rail-served industry across the state.

N.C. Department of Transportation Rail Division
Joan Bagherpour
919.733.7245 X261