Class I, short line railroads still shut down in wake of Hurricane Matthew

Seven days and counting for freight, passengers ops in North Carolina
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Left: A severe washout on CSX's former A&Y line in Fayetteville, N.C., is prohibiting freight rail traffic from accessing the nearby Fort Bragg military base. Right: CSX contractors work on washouts on the railroad's A-Line in Hope Mills, N.C., on Wed., Oct. 12.
Chase Gunnoe
ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. — Hurricane Matthew may be long gone off the North Carolina coast, but water is still rising and railroads remain closed throughout much of the North Carolina on Thursday. It has been five days since Hurricane Matthew dumped more than 12 to 15 inches of rain across south and eastern North Carolina in a weather event that has surpassed previous records.

CSX Transportation’s Interstate 95 corridor from southeastern Virginia to Savannah, Ga., has resumed service, but train movements remained scarce on Thursday morning in the Rocky Mount area. The railroad says that it is still relying on generators to supply power for railroad signals and grade crossings along sections of its former Atlantic Coast Line route in the Tarheel State.

In a CSX earnings call announcement on Thursday morning, the railroad confirmed that some branch lines were still under water with additional flooding expected as rivers crest on Friday morning near Lumberton, N.C.

As of Wednesday evening, CSX’s service restoration included the following information:

• Lane, Orangeburg, Eastover, and Creston subdivisions in South Carolina will be back in service by Friday, Oct. 14.
• W&W Subdivision from Wilson, N.C., to Wallace, N.C., will be back in service on Saturday, Oct. 15.
• Wilmington Subdivision between Hamlet, N.C., and Wilmington, N.C., will not have service restored for an estimated 7 to 10 days.
• Andrews Subdivision may not see train service for another 7 to 10 days.

The railroad is still evaluating the Georgetown, Tarboro, and Parmele subdivisions with a “repair timetable to be determined,” the customer advisory reads.

The railroad’s Fort Bragg Spur, which was featured during a live streaming event on Trains News Wire on Oct. 13 will not re-enter service for 7 to 10 days, the railroad says.

Short line railroads have also been affected.

R.J. Corman’s Vice President of Sales & Marketing Bill Henderson tells Trains News Wire that the railroad’s Carolina Lines may not be fully repaired for another four weeks. The route is part of the former Carolina Southern that operates from Chadbourn, N.C. toward Conway, S.C., and Myrtle Beach, S.C.

The Aberdeen & Rockfish Railroad is making repairs to washouts near Fayetteville. As of Thursday morning, the railroad had repaired washouts near downtown and was in the process of reassembling track panels. The short line railroad’s connections to CSX and Norfolk Southern branch lines were still shut down and freight service was expected to not come back on line for nearly two weeks.

Trains News Wire is surveying rail lines in southeastern North Carolina today and will bring you the latest information.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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