Railroad repair no longer a disruption

Published 8:10 pm Thursday, December 23, 2010

Crews work to replace rails and concrete at a railroad intersection on Church Street. According to representatives of Norfolk Southern the work will not cause further traffic delays like those seen on Broad Street and in other areas of Selma over the weekend. -- Rick Couch photo

The frustrations Selma motorists faced over the weekend from railroad repairs have ended.

Norfolk Southern Public Relations director Rudy Husband said the weekend project was just general maintenance and will not slow traffic any further.

“That crossing project was really just a weekend job,” he said. “We were replacing the railroad ties and concrete. It was just for general upkeep.”

Email newsletter signup

Many cars found themselves looking for alternate routes to get around work crews at the Broad Street crossing and in other areas of Selma. But, Husband said, the repairs are complete and will not cause any complications through the holidays.

“Anything that was done should be in place now,” he said. “There shouldn’t be any further delays.”

There were a few streets blocked Tuesday as construction on a section of Church Street was completed.

However, major thoroughfares should not be disturbed.

Crossties, he said, must be replaced periodically because they support the rails and loads of each train that rolls through. The cross ties must be able to hold the rails to the correct gauge.

Ties are normally laid on top of track ballast, which supports and holds them in place and provides drainage and flexibility. Heavy crushed stone is the normal material for the ballast, but on lines with lower speeds and weight, sand, gravel, and even ash from the fires of coal-fired steam locomotives have been used.

If the rails are not in suitable working condition, there is a risk of derailing.