News Releases

10/21/2014: NCDOT, Gaston County Seek New Operator for Piedmont & Northern Railway

NCDOT, Gaston County Seek New Operator for Piedmont & Northern Railway

Posted 10/21/2014 10:32:25 AM

RALEIGH – The N.C. Department of Transportation is now seeking bid proposals from qualified short-line operators to operate the 13-mile Piedmont & Northern Railway from Gastonia to Mount Holly in Gaston County following Patriot Rail’s announcement in June that it would be terminating its lease of the railroad.  A link to the bid proposal form is available online. The railroad currently serves two businesses, averaging 12 carloads per month. The line connects with CSX Transportation at Mount Holly and Norfolk Southern at Gastonia. NCDOT is partnering with Gaston County in the bid solicitation process. “We are working together to secure an operator with a proven record in bringing rail customers into service. The new lessee will work closely with Gaston County Economic Development to market the rail line and secure new freight customers that will add jobs to Gaston County,” said Gaston County Commission Vice Chairman Joe Carpenter. “We are looking forward to receiving some good, thoughtful proposals for operating the P&N corridor and maximizing the opportunities for economic development and job creation. Working with our partners in Gaston County, we believe that we have clearly defined expectations and look forward to choosing a new operator,” said NCDOT Rail Division Director Paul Worley. Bids will be publically opened Dec. 2. The new lease will include an initial term of two years with four two-year renewable options. A selection review committee made up of members from NCDOT and the Gaston County Board of Commissioners will review and evaluate each bid proposal received. A new freight operator is expected to be selected within two weeks of receipt of bids, with the goal of having the operator in place by Feb. 1, 2015. In the interim, Patriot Rail will continue to operate the railroad. ***NCDOT***
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10/20/2014: Secretary Tata Pledges Commitment to Rail Safety, Encourages Others to Join

Secretary Tata Pledges Commitment to Rail Safety, Encourages Others to Join

Posted 10/20/2014 10:07:01 AM

RALEIGH - N.C. Department of Transportation Secretary Tony Tata visited the BeRailSafe booth at the N.C. State Fair today to sign a pledge stating his commitment to rail safety. The pledge encourages people not to walk on or along railroad tracks, and if they must cross, to do so at a public crossing and look both ways to be sure a train is not coming. “We want all North Carolinians to be safe around railroad tracks, and I welcome everyone to join me in signing this pledge and doing their part to keep themselves and their communities safe. Even one death on North Carolina’s railroads is one too many,” said Tata. Fairgoers are invited to stop by and sign the pledge, which is displayed at the BeRailSafe booth at Safety City, located behind Dorton Arena. Safety City is sponsored by NCDOT’s Governor’s Highway Safety Program. In North Carolina, walking on or along railroad tracks without the consent of the railroad company is illegal and a Class 3 misdemeanor. It can also be deadly – each year, an average of 32 people are killed or injured walking on railroad tracks across the state.  BeRailSafe is NCDOT’s statewide rail safety program that provides information and programming to adults and kids alike about the importance of staying safe around railroad tracks. BeRailSafe also trains first responders across the state in how to deal with emergencies that arise around railroad tracks. ***NCDOT***
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10/7/2014: NCDOT Will Temporarily Close N.C. 49 In Cabarrus County Tomorrow Night

NCDOT Will Temporarily Close N.C. 49 In Cabarrus County Tomorrow Night

Posted 10/7/2014 3:40:53 PM

Closure is part of rail grade separation project   CHARLOTTE –As work progresses on the Pharr Mill Road grade separation project in Harrisburg, the N.C. Department of Transportation will temporarily close N.C. 49 South at Pharr Mill Road/Blackwelder Road at 9 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 8, weather permitting. This project is part of NCDOT’s Piedmont Improvement Program, a series of railroad and highway enhancement jobs aimed to improve safety, spur job growth and improve connectivity between Raleigh and Charlotte, as well the communities in between.   The closure is necessary for crews to safely set steel girders for the Pharr Mill Road bridge over N.C. 49. Motorists traveling south on N.C. 49 will be detoured along Pharr Mill Road and Shamrock Road back to N.C. 49. Traffic on Blackwelder Road will be detoured along Stough Road and Roberta Road. The road will reopen by 6 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 9.     Some highlights of the Pharr Mill grade separation project include:   ·         Building a new bridge and roadway connecting Pharr Mill Road to Blackwelder Road over the North Carolina Railroad; ·         Closing the existing crossing at Shamrock Road; ·         Providing an extension of Saddle Creek Court to create a new railroad crossing with the North Carolina Railroad, improving access to N.C. 49 for truck traffic; ·         Providing ramp access to and from Blackwelder and Pharr Mill Roads to N.C. 49; ·         Providing improvements to Mulberry Road; and ·         Providing alternate emergency access to the Saddle Creek Industrial Park through a gate at existing Shamrock Road and Saddle Creek Court.   Construction on the $5.6 million grade separation started in September and is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2015.   For real-time travel information at any time, call 511, visit the NCDOT traffic website or follow NCDOT on Twitter. Another option is NCDOT Mobile, a phone-friendly version of the NCDOT website. To access it, type “m.ncdot.gov” into the browser of your smartphone. Then, bookmark it to save for future reference.   For more information, please contact the resident engineer at (704) 845-1151.
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9/25/2014: New Railroad Crossing Project in Mount Airy Complete

New Railroad Crossing Project in Mount Airy Complete

Posted 9/25/2014 10:41:46 AM

RALEIGH –Just in time for the 25th Annual Mayberry Days Festival, work was completed last week on a new railroad crossing at the intersection of Andy Griffith Parkway (U.S. 52) and Rockford Street in Mount Airy. The old crossing was identified as a safety hazard and was slated for resurfacing through NCDOT’s Freight Rail & Rail Crossing Safety Improvement Fund. The old crossing was deteriorating, and traffic turning north onto Rockford Street had to travel in line with the tracks for a brief period. The resurfacing project replaced the old crossing structure with a more durable concrete crossing and created a turning lane to prevent drivers from travelling down the tracks. The collaborative project was the result of maximizing cooperation among the Yadkin Valley Railroad, NCDOT Highway Division 11 and NCDOT Rail Division. Each played an integral role ensuring the project was completed in an efficient and timely manner. Yadkin Valley Railroad provided the labor for the track work, the Rail Division provided approximately $260,000 in funding through FR&RCSI, and NCDOT Highway Division 11 handled traffic control, construction cost for the added turn lane, and municipality coordination for the project. For more information on the FR&RCSI program, visit the NCDOT Rail Division projects page.   ***NCDOT*** Before
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9/18/2014: NCDOT to Temporarily Close The Mcleansville Road Railroad Crossing For Maintenance

NCDOT to Temporarily Close The Mcleansville Road Railroad Crossing For Maintenance

Posted 9/18/2014 12:40:48 PM

GREENSBORO — The N.C. Department of Transportation will temporarily close Mcleansville Road in Greensboro, beginning Tuesday, Sep. 23 at 9 a.m., and ending at 5 p.m. in McLeansville.North Carolina Rail Division contractors will be performing routine maintenance to replace ties and rubber seals between the track and roadway at the railroad crossing.During the closure, motorists will use Friedens Church, Carmen Road, Knox Road, Bethel Church Road, and Mcleansville Road as the signed detour route. NCDOT reminds motorists to watch signs for information, stay alert and obey the posted speed limit.For real-time travel information at any time, call 511, visit www.ncdot.gov/travel or follow NCDOT on Twitter. Another option is NCDOT Mobile, a phone-friendly version of the NCDOT website. To access it, type m.ncdot.gov into the browser of your smartphone. Then, bookmark it to save for future reference.
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