Informational workshop on addition of railroad track is July 28
By Jessie Burchette
firstname.lastname@example.orgThe N.C. Railroad Co. will discuss plans to add a second railroad track between north Kannapolis and south Salisbury in a workshop later this month.
The N.C. Department of Transportation will hold an informational workshop July 28 at the China Grove Community Building, 412 S. Myrtle St. from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Talk of restoring the second set of tracks the full length between Salisbury and Kannapolis has gained momentum over the past decade.
The purpose of the additional track is to improve train travel and minimize congestion on the existing rail line between Greensboro and Charlotte.
While some areas still have two sets of tracks, the railroad company took up large sections several decades ago as train usage declined.
The restoration of the second set of tracks could affect some businesses and municipalities along the rail line.
While China Grove would likely lose much of the wide green space the town currently maintains, while Landis would have to move a gazebo, a clock and two historic buildings off the railroad right of way.
“It’s going to consume some property, possibly some buildings,” China Grove Mayor Don Bringle said.
Carl Ford, chairman of the Rowan County Board of Commissioners, said he has already heard from several businessmen who may lose their buildings as a result of the addition or realignment of tracks.
He said the N.C. Railroad Co.’s position is that it will buy buildings, but not land. The company contends it owns a wide swath of right of way along the track.
A native of Kannapolis, Ford said it appears China Grove and north Kannapolis will feel the biggest impact.
Ford urged all property owners to attend the workshop to get information and express their opinions.
The Department of Transportation proposes to construct additional tracks adjacent to the existing track.
According to an announcement from state highway officials, the proposed improvements begin approximately one-half mile north of Peach Orchard Road and extend to just south of East 22nd Street in Kannapolis.
Officials also note that minor railroad alignment changes and safety improvements are also being considered.
State officials will be available to provide information and answer questions.
Property owners or others desiring information in advance of the workshop may contact Marc Hamel, Environmental and Planning Branch, Rail Division at 919-733-7245, Ext. 270, or e-mail: email@example.com or Paul Kock, Santec Consultants, 919-815-6866 or e-mail Paul.Koch@stntec .com.