Rail Line to Fuquay-Varina

  1. This looks like something straight out of Harry Potter!!! 2) Crank the difficulty level up a notch for the baseball/football/footbul players by dodging rail traffic. I LOVE IT!! :stuck_out_tongue:


Today when biking home from work, I saw someone casually walking across the railroad tracks over Western from Boylan to Dix. This wasn’t a hobo either. It was a well dressed guy that looked like he was walking home from work.


SEHSR will happen, but the question is whether any of us will live to see it. I think it’s at least 25 years off, perhaps 50.

The “Orulz plan” for a connector across Wilmington has merit; not only would it eliminate the split of the Dix property, it would also simplify Boylan Jct.

The only reason we’re having the conversation, really, is that the Raleigh-FV-Fayetteville line happened to fall into the hands of NS. If the line were owned by CSX – or more specifically, if the line south of the tire plant were owned by CSX – there would be no reason to retain the line north of the tire plant, unless you want to bet on a large industry locating there. At one time there was a connecting line Charlotte-FV-Raleigh, but it has effectively been dismembered west of FV and I doubt it will ever be a through-route for freight again.

NS would have to be induced to turn the line south of the tire plant over to CSX (or to lease it to a short-line operator). I don’t know what such an inducement would look like, but if it could be negotiated, the entire Raleigh-FV portion could be rail-banked in case passenger service is ever warranted… and the Orulz connector could be a part of that plan.


The NS line west of Fuquay still connects up to Greensboro and along the way it passes both the Chatham-Siler City and Greensboro-Randolph megasites. Both sites would probably mostly be served from the Greensboro side, but maybe not if they need to ship to or from a port. Who knows. West of Fuquay in the Brickhaven and Sanford areas, there are also a few manufacturers connected to the NS line though I have no idea what sort of volume of freight they handle or if it is enough revenue to justify ongoing maintenance and operations.

At any rate the line is of at least moderate strategic importance to NS or else they would already be leasing it to a short line like Carolina
Coastal or Aberdeen, Carolina, and Western.

To me it seems the signals from NS over the importance of this line are strong enough to put the idea of rail banking or outright abandonment to rest.


I had the opportunity to talk to some people who follow the rail industry, and they too were doubtful on the chances of NS ever giving up the line. In fact, they made the point that multiuse trails next to rail lines — which seem to be a growing trend — is usually not a good decision from the railway’s perspective, as it adds more traffic alongside the line and people can get fed up with the noise, pushing them to attack the train operator.

That’s probably an extreme reaction, but until something changes, I must say I don’t like the chances of this ever happening.


Now that NS has embraced (been forced to embrace?) “Precision Scheduled Railroading” to some extent, let’s see what happens to their lesser used lines. Meanwhile, rumors continue to fly about spinoffs of CSX lines.


It’s been over two weeks since I emailed my city councilor about this topic. Not even a “thanks for your email” email.


If you have the same councilor that I do, that’s no surprise.


Sorry if this has been posted, but did y’all see where Durham purchased their “belt line” that will connect the Eno River with DTD? Very cool.


Sounds cool. Do you have a link?


Sorry forgot to link https://durhamnc.gov/DocumentCenter/View/24411/City-of-Durham-Acquires-Belt-Line-Rail-Corridor


Agreed. The Durham Beltline is IMO the perfect example of a railroad that serves no value whatsoever as a railroad anymore, and the benefit that could be obtained by trying to use it as a light rail line is far exceeded by its value as a rail-trail, so build away! It will be awesome for Durham.


The Durham Beltline is going to be awesome. I can’t wait to see it once it’s finished. Here’s another really good link: https://durhambeltline.com/


No one seems to know with certainly when NS made the last movement over the belt… some say 1980s, others say 1990s. In either case, it’s unusual for a line in a city the size of Durham to lie completely unused but still intact for so long. I hope Durham makes the best of it.


I too went to NC State and lived on campus. I actually liked that the campus had the tunnels from side to side. I found it charming. It also meant that, when I was able to go home to my dorm, I felt like like I was both on campus and off campus at the same time.

split this topic #96

54 posts were merged into an existing topic: Light Rail: What works for Raleigh


I found these blueprints for a proposed rail bypass from 1914 that was never built…


I did a rough mock-up on Google Maps, the line would have ran parallel to the rocky branch of walnut creek. The alignment for Western follows part of the proposed bypass.

An overlay on a 1953 map

An overlay on an overlay


This is unrelated to the rail line to Fuquay, but on the topic of the bypass, it seems that they wanted the eastern end to tie in near the newly constructed abattoir.

Built around the same time as City Market, the abattoir was a step towards modernity for Raleigh.

1953 Aerial

1930’s looking east

1940’s looking west


Wow, this is unreal, I had no idea this was ever actually considered.

Any indication what the purpose of this rail line would have been? 1914 is not long after the N&W line was built. Given the multiple sharp curves this was clearly not indended for high speeds or heavy traffic so it doesn’t seem like it could have been a bypass. Probably a freight spur for the N&W or Seaboard to serve a customer that was located on or near the southern line, perhaps the abattoir you mention, or whatever might have been the predecessor of the Cargill mill.


The blueprint labels it as a ‘beltline’. The mainline is single track, so I’m guessing this would have helped move trains in and out of the city more efficiently. This could have also been to alleviate some traffic passing thru the wye.