February 16, 2018
North Carolina Railroad Company Invests in High Point
The North Carolina Railroad Company (NCRR) and the City of High Point are partnering on improvements to the railroad corridor and drainage in downtown High Point totaling $5.1 million. The North Carolina Railroad is funding $3.6 million of the total cost.
The North Carolina Railroad line through downtown High Point is located within a cut below street level and includes a number of bridges crossing above the tracks. The Company is partnering with the City and Norfolk Southern on improvements to the railroad slopes and the storm water drainage on the streets adjacent to the railroad.
“Because the Railroad is located below grade running through downtown, it presents unique challenges related to storm water drainage,” says North Carolina Railroad Company President, Scott Saylor. “These improvements will minimize future erosion and protect track structure, as well as improve the appearance of the slopes running through downtown – a win for everyone involved.”
During the 1930s, the railroad tracks running through downtown High Point were lowered to eliminate at-grade crossings and to increase efficiencies on both the roadways and the railroad. Over time, the slopes along the railroad have eroded due to rainfall and storm drainage. The project will include slope and track bed improvements to address drainage and appearance issues.
Construction is currently underway, with completion slated for mid-2018.
“The City of High Point enjoys a good working relationship with the North Carolina Railroad,” says Keith Pugh, Engineering Services Director for the City of High Point. “We are excited to collaborate on this project which will benefit both our City and NCRR. We look forward to exploring additional opportunities where we can work together to improve the community we serve.”
“More than forty Norfolk Southern freight trains and Amtrak trains run through High Point each day, moving North Carolina’s economy via the North Carolina Railroad,” says Saylor. “We are committed to working with community, state and business partners as we plan for long-term freight and passenger growth, and making investments to ensure our rail infrastructure will continue to meet the needs of business and industry.”
High Point, named for its location at the highest point of the North Carolina Railroad line and where it crossed the Fayetteville and Western Plank Road, is among many Triad-area communities that have a significant railroad history. The NCRR inspection committee commented in 1860 that “No station on the road presented more the appearance of an active trade…,” making way for the burgeoning furniture industry in 1889, and spurring future growth.
The North Carolina Railroad was created for the purpose of economic development, and NCRR continues to fulfill that mission by investing in projects that impact economic development and job growth. The High Point project is one of several that the Company has invested in, in order to ensure the railroad is at peak condition to meet current and future rail capacity needs. By the close of 2019, the North Carolina Railroad Company will have made $114 million in improvements and upgrades on the railroad line as part of the Company’s longstanding infrastructure investment program.
About the North Carolina Railroad Company
The North Carolina Railroad Company is a private corporation whose stock is owned by the State of North Carolina. The Company manages the use of 317 miles of track stretching from Charlotte to the Port of Morehead City and leases the tracks to Norfolk Southern Corporation, a Class I freight rail company. The Company’s mission is to put the North Carolina Railroad Company to work for the good of the people of North Carolina and improve our state by expanding freight rail opportunities to grow business, enabling rail to move people and investing in North Carolina.