CSX still recovering from floods, washouts in North Carolina

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HAMLET, N.C. – Most of CSX Transportation’s rail lines in southeastern North Carolina should return to service by this weekend, nearly two weeks after Hurricane Florence drenched the southeastern U.S.

On Tuesday night, CSX restored service on the Hamlet Subdivision between Hamlet, N.C., and Columbia, S.C., and rail officials anticipated freight service would resume on the Andrews Subdivision between Dillon and Andrews, S.C., sometime Wednesday evening.

And by the end of this week, trains should once again be rolling across the railroad’s Wilmington Subdivision between Wilmington and Pembroke, N.C. The three rail lines, which have been out of service since Florence made landfall, are the last in a web of former Atlantic Coast Line and Seaboard Air Line rights-of-way plagued by washouts and floods from the record-breaking weather system.

In a customer advisory issued Sept. 25, CSX confirmed the Lumber River, impacting the Wilmington Subdivision, is the only river remaining in major flood stage. Other rivers located along railroad right-of-ways, like the Neuse, Cape Fear, Pee Dee, and Black Creek rivers have receded below major flood stage with water levels continuing to fall.

Flooded roadbeds and washouts haven’t affected just freight trains, either. While Amtrak has resumed most of its service in the southeast, its New York-Miami Silver Star has been operating only between Jacksonville, Fla., and Miami, but that too will change on Wednesday morning.

A Tuesday afternoon service alert issued by Amtrak confirms Silver Star trains Nos. 91 and 92 will resume full service on Wednesday. The train is the last in a series of Amtrak trains that have suffered from modified schedules or service suspensions in the aftermath of Florence.

With railroads gradually recovering from the record-breaking storm, national media outlets report that damages caused by Florence are estimated at more than $20 billion.
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