Norfolk Southern Loops near Old Fort, N.C., damaged by Alberto

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Crews rebuild a washout on the S-line near Ridgecrest, N.C., on June 1.
Grady McKinley
OLD FORT, N.C. — One of the most scenic and operationally challenging parts of the Norfolk Southern system is out of service after the remains of tropic storm Alberto delivered drenching rains to Western North Carolina.

The 141-mile S-line between Asheville and Salisbury is closed for as much as two weeks while crews repair washouts in the section known as the Loops between Ridgecrest, N.C., and Old Fort, N.C. This section includes 13 miles of twisting, curving track to cover three air miles. This section is flush with six tunnels, 11 bridges over Mill Creek, high fills, and grades of up to 2.7 percent.

The Biltmore Village section of Asheville, where the S-line and the line to Skyland power plant (former line to Spartanburg, S.C., via Saluda grade), join near the east end of Asheville yard was underwater. The nearby CSX loops north of Marion and south of Spruce Pine also suffered damage.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency due to the flooding and landslides.

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