Norfolk Southern's eastern carolina line sale : LUSENET : Southern Railway : One Thread

Does anyone know the specific details about Norfolk Southern trying to sell or abandon the following former Southern Railway lines? Raleigh to Chocowinity, NC; Chocowinity, NC to New Bern and also to Lee Creek, NC. I read about this in the most recent issue of the UTU newspaper. They also mentioned the possibility of a short line taking over. Are these lines lightly used? I thought that they hosted alot of chemical and paper products traffic. Thanks in advance for any help. Justin Dzan

-- Justin Dzan; Louisville, KY (, April 18, 2001


All of that has been in the rumor mill for some months now. Actually, the former (original) Norfolk Southern mainline from Raleigh via Marsden (Chocowinity), the Albemarle Trestle and Elizabeth City to Norfolk now only goes as far as Mackeys Ferry, north of Plymouth. There is a big paper plant at Plymouth with NS services, but it is switched by a short line carrier (Rail Tex, I think). There is also daily wood chip traffic from Wilson to Morehead City via Chocowinity and New Bern. Perhaps there are three or four trains on the line west of Chocowinity each day. It's probably likely that line will be short lined. Lee Creek, However, in another story. It is operated jointly by NS and CSX, and is a major producer of traffic (phosphate mines, largest outside of Florida). The logican connection for NS would be through New Bern and thus on to the North Carolina Railroad (Morehead City/Charlotte). That would make one think that the Chocowinity/New Bern line would probably stay in the fold (right, that's a guess). The New Bern/Goldsboro line, which has seen light to no traffic in recent years, has recently been re-surfaced, and looks up to the job. Hope that helps.

Greetings from Beaufort, NC

-- Pete Wenk (, April 20, 2001.

Pete is absolutely right in his answer(s) to this topic. Furthermore, CSX runs from Rocky Mount, NC to Plymouth, NC. Their train carries a good bit of freight to the Weyerhauser plant. This train has been nicknamed "the wood train" for as long as I remember. Also, the old original NS main line which ran from Norfolk, VA to Charlotte, NC is to some degree redundant trackage with the North Carolina RR (Atlantic & East Carolina Rwy) between Raleigh, NC and New Bern, NC. Furthermore, the state of NC owns the track from Raleigh, NC all the way to Morehead City and has been leased to NS (Sou Rwy) for MANY years.

There are not a whole lot of traffic generating points along the old NS line between Raleigh and Chocowinity other than the wood chip facility, I don't believe. As Pete mentioned, the Lee Creek phosphate operation is BIG TIME!! On the Chocowinity to New Bern line, there is another large Weyerhauser plant and a rail car repair facility just north of New Bern (Bridgeton) It will be interesting what ends up happening

-- David R. Smith (, April 21, 2001.

In the estimation of its employees, the line still has enough existing traffic and potential to warrant NS keeping the line. They tell me that the shortline negotiating for NS line is the G&W (Genessee & Wyoming, I think). I understand that formal notices are not out yet, but there is a target date of July 28. The bottom line is that concerned men will fight for their jobs til the end, and that minds sometimes have been changed around here.

Ben Lee

-- Ben Lee (, April 28, 2001.

As of March 21, 2003 there are no plans to spin off any of the trackage of the original Norfolk Southern Railroad anywhere East of Raleigh. Norfolk Southern has decided instead to agressivly persue freight traffic and give personal service in the area. In fact, the entire line from Marsden (Chocowinity) to Plymouth was recently surfaced by a T&S gang. Also, AC power was recently run out to the draw span on the bridge over the Pamlico River at Washingtonwhich eliminated the bridge tender's job. The drawspan is now controlled by the train crews who open the span, pass through it, and then leave it open to river traffic. W.A.Sellers, Jr., Norfolk Southern Railway (Ret.)

-- William A. Sellers, Jr. (, March 21, 2003.

As of March 31, 2002 all lines east of the H-71 at Cary, N.C. have been placed under the East Carolina Business Unit. This business unit is run by Norfolk Southern employees with Norfolk Southern resources, but as a short line of sorts. It has it's own General Manager and Marketing people based in Raleigh. There has been a huge turn around in the business since the start, it looks as if Norfolk Southern is going to try some business units in other sections of the railroad that are not profitable, also the Burlington Northern is also going to give this approach a try. As info, Buck Reed, Senior General Foreman Mechanical, ECBU Raleigh

-- Buck Reed (, April 03, 2003.

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