Editorial: Putting the railroad on the clock

July 11, 2014 

Railroad companies in North Carolina have been notorious for putting off today what they could do tomorrow.

So it was interesting to learn last week that Coastal Railroad has agreed to work with the N.C. Department of Transportation to address needs at several crossings in Wendell.

DOT officials say they expect to make repairs by the end of summer at three crossings along streets owned and maintained by the state of North Carolina. And, they say, the railroad will pitch in.

If you’ll pardon our pessimism, we’ll believe it when we see it.

We hope DOT has enough sway with railway leaders to make it happen.

The three crossings DOT will improve are at Cypress, Buffalo and Pine streets.

Sandwiched between them is one more intersection – along Main Street – that is not owned and maintained by DOT.

The town wants that interesection – at Main Street – improved as well.

We trust that railroad officials see the wisdom of doing all the work that needs to be done not only along state maintained crossings, but at other crossings in town. It would be much easier to get the work done when the crews and the materials are already on site to address other intersections.

Still, there is that concern that railroad company leaders will not make any improvements unless they’re backed into a corner.

DOT can play a valuable role in convincing the rail company to get all the work done at one time. It makes sense to do so and Wendell residents have waited long enough for the railroad company to take care of its property.

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