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What’s the destination of the trains that I hear early in the morning?

Jim Ware
A CSX train

A CSX train at a railroad junction. (StarNews file photo)

Here’s the full question:

“I live in the 41st Street/Shipyard Boulevard area and quite often hear train whistles, especially during the early morning hours even though the nearest train tracks that I am aware of are way over on Covil Avenue. The whistles sound very close. Where do these trains go? The N.C. State Port?”

And the answer:

“We do run trains in and out of the Port, so it could be us that you are hearing in the mornings, even though we are a bit of a distance away,” CSX spokeswoman Carla Groleau said.

There is also another rail company in the area, Groleau said.

“Freight trains are not on a fixed schedule. Just as a reminder, federal law mandates that freight train horns be sounded at all crossings to alert the public. The bottom line is that the use of horns is an important part of our safety practice and it’s the law,” she said.

Horns are also sounded when a train is moving or in an emergency situation. Horns must be sounded in certain patterns or lengths, she added

“Not doing so results in violations and fines,” Groleau said.

In North Carolina, CSX operates and maintains more than 1,700 miles of track, she said. CSX also maintains more than 2,250 public and private grade crossings in North Carolina.

CSX handled nearly 905,000 carloads of freight in North Carolina during 2010, Groleau said. At the end of 2010, the company employed approximately 1,100 people statewide, providing nearly $84 million in compensation for employees in 2010.

More CSX facts: In 2010, the company invested more than $44 million in the railway network in North Carolina. In addition, the company invested more than $490 million on freight cars and other rolling assets to serve customers throughout the network.

Products shipped include coal, grain, textile chemicals, feed ingredients, and aggregates.

CSX operates major rail yards in Hamlet and Rocky Mount, and an Intermodal terminal in Charlotte. It also operates two smaller TRANSFLO terminals in Charlotte and one each in Wilmington, Raleigh and Winston-Salem.

More information about rail crossing safety can be found at http://www.oli.org

User-contributed question by:
Thomas Braden

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