NS L-line,Winston-Salem-Clemmons

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I keep hearing rumors that the NS L-line From Winston-Salem to Charlotte (via O-line)is going to be a major secondary route for freight traffic. I live within sight of this line at Milepost 6 and I have yet to see any traffic (the last train came through in April,1998. Work crews haven't been seen in over six months). Can anyone tell me what is going on? The line is definitely intact and appears to be in excellent shape.

-- Andrew Callo (calloa@ncsavx.ncarts.edu), July 15, 1999


The L-line north of Mooresville and the O-line Mooresville to Charlotte still see ample industrial and local freight switching. Over the past ten years studies were made and inspection trips were run to determine what it would take to upgrade the line for through freight service. This was done in the event the NS was not able to re-negotiate a favorable new lease of the North Carolina Railroad from the State of North Carolina. At one time I understand there was a decision made to run some test through freights, but they were not run. Decisions were made on the upgrades needed. I am sure the line's availability was used as a bargaining chip in NCRR negotiations. The line has drawbacks for heavy through freight service; including low speed jointed rail, lack of sidings, undulating profile, and sharp heavy grades (particularly at Charlotte). The line may still be needed in the future for increased through freight service. For now, it enjoys good industrial business.

-- Ben Lee (Bengineer7@aol.com), July 20, 1999.

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