N.C. Department of Transportation (NCDOT) Secretary Tony Tata, U.S. Rep. Walter Jones of North Carolina and Greenville Mayor Allen Thomas joined representatives from CSX July 26 in Greenville, N.C., to celebrate the opening of the relocated CSX rail yard.
The relocation is expected to 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 6.5 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.
NCDOT paid for 75 percent of the $9.7-million, four-year, multi-phase project, using a grant from the Federal Railroad Administration. CSX Transportation contributed the remaining 25 percent of the financing.