RALEIGH – N.C. Department of Transportation Secretary Tony Tata, U.S. Rep. Walter Jones of North Carolina and Greenville Mayor Allen Thomas joined representatives from CSX Transportation today in Greenville to cut the ribbon on a rail project that will reduce accidents, improve safety, and make travel more efficient for trains and vehicles. The project moved CSX’s switching operations from downtown Greenville to a new location six-and-a-half miles north, where it will have a much lower impact on local traffic.
“Safety is our top priority. Moving switching operations away from busy road crossings in downtown Greenville will significantly reduce the number of accidents in the area,” said Secretary Tata. “Thanks to great teamwork at the federal, state and local levels, we are able to complete this important project for the citizens of Greenville.”
The new CSX switching location separates train and vehicular traffic, and eliminates the difficult maneuvers that trains previously had to make between Arlington Boulevard and Howell Street. It also makes travel more efficient for motorists. This project has cut time for motorists waiting for the trains to pass through the switching yard, and in some cases has eliminated the wait.
“This project is a great example of a public-private partnership that offers a comprehensive solution, providing reduced congestion for the citizens of Greenville and a more efficient rail operation for CSX,” said Quintin Kendall, CSX Transportation’s vice president of state government and community affairs. “Our thanks go out to the citizens of Greenville for their patience, and the many state, local and federal leaders who worked to make this new yard a reality.”
Work on this project began in 2009, and includes the construction of a track connector, nearly 7,000 feet of switching yard tracks between N.C. 903 and Staton Mill Road, and a new CSX yard office to house train crews at the north end of the new yard.
Norfolk Southern and short line Carolina Coastal Railway participated in earlier phases of the work.
Mayor Thomas thanked state and federal officials, CSX and the many city leaders who have worked together to plan, build and deliver this important project.
"Today is one of those days that changes a community,” Mayor Thomas said. “The move of the CSX switching station from the center of our city to its new rural location is a long-awaited milestone for us. Because of the growth the city has experienced over the past decade, we recognized the need to work together to find a new location and make the move possible.”
NCDOT paid for 75 percent of the $9.7 million four-year, multi-phase project, using a grant for approximately $967,000 from the Federal Railroad Administration. Rep. Jones played an essential role in helping NCDOT obtain this federal funding. CSX Transportation contributed the remaining 25 percent of the financing.
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Editor's Note: NCDOT Rail Division Director Paul Worley (far right), Transportation Secretary Tony Tata (next to Worley) and other officials get ready to cut the ribbon.
About NCDOT’s Rail Division:
The Rail Division collaborates with railroads on safety oversight, strategic planning and freight, and passenger improvements over the 3,300-mile rail system in North Carolina. The division is in the process of investing more than a half billion dollars in federal funds to modernize North Carolina’s rail corridor from Charlotte to Raleigh. The Rail Division also operates two state-supported trains, providing passenger travel options as well as efficient and environmentally-friendly transportation. The division works with communities to make rail-highway crossings safer and more efficient by installing traffic-control equipment, and closing and consolidating high-accident crossings on highways, streets and bridges. Additional information on the NCDOT Rail Division is available at www.bytrain.org
CSX, based in Jacksonville, Florida, is a premier transportation company. It provides rail, intermodal and rail-to-truck transload services and solutions to customers across a broad array of markets, including energy, industrial, construction, agricultural, and consumer products. For more than 185 years, CSX has played a critical role in the nation's economic expansion and industrial development. Its network connects every major metropolitan area in the eastern United States, where nearly two-thirds of the nation's population resides. It also links more than 240 short-line railroads and more than 70 ocean, river and lake ports with major population centers and small farming towns alike. More information about CSX Corporation and its subsidiaries is available at www.csxcom. Like us on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/OfficialCSX) and follow us on Twitter (http://twitter.com/CSX).