The North Carolina Railroad Company (NCRR) and the city of High Point, N.C., are tackling $5.1 million in improvements to the railroad corridor and drainage in the city's downtown.
The NCRR said it is allocating $3.6 million in funds of the total cost.
The railroad’s line through downtown High Point is located within a cut below street level and includes a number of bridges crossing above the tracks, officials said. The company added it is partnering with Norfolk Southern (NS) and the city on improvements to the railroad slopes and the storm water drainage on streets near the railroad.
“Because the railroad is located below grade running through downtown, it presents unique challenges related to storm water drainage,” said Scott Saylor, NCRR president. “These improvements will minimize future erosion and protect track structure, as well as improve the appearance of the slopes running through downtown – a win for everyone involved.”
During the 1930s, NCRR said the railroad tracks running through the downtown High Point area were lowered to eliminate at-grade crossings and enhance operations on roadways and the railroad.
Throughout the years, the slopes along the railroad have eroded due to rainfall and storm drainage. Officials said this has led to the need for the project to include slope and track bed improvements to deal with drainage and aesthetic issues.
Construction on the project is underway and is set for completion in mid-2018.
“The city of High Point enjoys a good working relationship with the North Carolina Railroad,” said Keith Pugh, engineering services director for the city of High Point. “We are excited to collaborate on this project which will benefit both our City and NCRR. We look forward to exploring additional opportunities where we can work together to improve the community we serve.”
Saylor also noted that more than 40 NS freight and Amtrak trains run through High Point each day.
“We are committed to working with community, state and business partners as we plan for long-term freight and passenger growth, and making investments to ensure our rail infrastructure will continue to meet the needs of business and industry,” Saylor said.