Garner grows up along North Carolina Railroad

Editor’s note: This is the first installment in a series of articles profiling towns along the North Carolina Railroad corridor.


Long before American Idol singing champion Scotty McCreery put Garner, N.C. on the map, the little railroad town was the dear home to the Wake County residents who grew up keeping time by the train whistle, skipping along the rail corridor to go to church and school, and passing time counting box cars.

Today, Garner is all grown up. Its population is up to 26,000, and the town is home to many young professionals who appreciate its proximity to the hustle and bustle of Raleigh, jobs throughout the Triangle, and who love its small town southern charm.

McCreery sings about that charm in his ode to his hometown, “Water Tower Town,” Garner is a place where “Friday night football is king, sweet tea goes good with anything…you can see who loves you from miles around, in a water tower town.”

Garner got its start when the North Carolina Railroad crossed through the area in 1847 bringing with it commerce, economic development, and a train station. In that year, after a tie-breaker vote by the Speaker of the State House of Representatives, Garner was chosen as the location for a train station.

“Garner’s Station” was established with the construction of a post office in 1878, and the Town of Garner’s Station was incorporated in 1883, according to town records and “History of Garner and Environs,” by the Garner Historical Committee.

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NCRR joins N.C. BeRailSafe to promote crossing safety

North Carolina Railroad Company teamed up with N.C. BeRailSafe on a safety blitz in Durham on the fourth annual International Level Crossing Awareness Day, June 7.

The team gathered at the Swift Road tracks near the Duke University campus and handed out cards and stickers to drivers and pedestrians for three hours.

The Operation Lifesaver program also recognized ILCAD, sponsoring events and programs in 20 states around the country, including North Carolina.

ILCAD was established in 2009 in Europe to call attention to the need for public education on railway safety issues as a way to save lives.

This year, 42 countries worldwide held events to promote railroad crossing safety.

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Amtrak considers bus service in eastern N.C.

Newspapers in Eastern North Carolina are reporting on Amtrak’s consideration to provide bus service to parts of the state that would transport passengers to the Wilson train station.

The Kinston Free Press reports the route to the train station in Wilson would include stops in Greenville, New Bern, Havelock, Morehead City, Kinston, Goldsboro, Jacksonville and Wilmington.

Read all about it here:

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Charlotte LYNX Blue Line reaches major milestone

Last spring, the North Carolina Railroad Company (NCRR), the Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS), and Norfolk Southern Corporation signed lease, construction, and operating agreements for the LYNX Blue Line Extension (BLE) light rail project along 2.7 miles of the North Carolina Railroad corridor.  The extension’s total length will be 9.3 miles.

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Intermodal rail good option for USPS

The United States Postal Service Office of Inspector General recently issued a report stating intermodal rail use by the Postal Service could reap benefits, including saving money and helping improve the environment.

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National Train Day delights adults and kids

Xavier Binkowski said he was five-and-a-half, visiting his grandparents, Sally and Frank Binkowski of Hillsborough all having a great time at the National Train Day Festivities on May 12 at the Cary Depot. The all day event drew more than 1,000 people to the heart of downtown Cary, and the town was alive with people visiting the depot, shopping, lunching and visiting the local farmers market.

Scott and Courtney Baker of Cary possibly love trains even more than their four-year-old son Timothy.   Since he was two he has loved trains, inspired by the children’s book series on Thomas the Tank train engine.   Now the entire family loves Thomas.

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Rail fans brave hot weather to enjoy Norfolk Southern Heritage Locomotives

The North Carolina Transportation Museum was a rail fans paradise over the Independence Day holiday as the Norfolk Southern Corporation paraded 20 freshly painted Heritage Locomotives to Spencer, N.C. from all over the country for a historic family reunion.

Temperatures edging over the century mark did not deter spectators, huddled in small patches of shade and shadows cast by the museum’s historic buildings and locomotives, and the Norfolk Southern mascot, Brainy stuck to low key antics.

“We’re very proud of what we do,” said Norfolk Southern CEO Wick Moorman. “This is a very fitting way to acknowledge the efforts of those who came before us and make a statement that we are proud of our past.”

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