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Rail lines up for sale

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Cars pass over the railroad crossing on Arlington Boulevard near University Suites on June 19, 2018. (Molly Mathis/The Daily Reflector)

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By Ginger Livingston
The Daily Reflector

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

The sale of about 650 miles of railroad by CSX railways includes about 100 miles of track in eastern North Carolina, including a section that passes through Greenville.

CSX announced earlier this month that it is soliciting bids for six segments of track located in New York, Kentucky and West Virginia in addition to North Carolina. She sale is “to drive asset utilization, enhance network efficiency and create long-term value for the company,” according to a news release.

“CSX is reviewing every aspect of the company’s network to be sure that each asset is maximized for efficiency and adds value to our company’s long-term business needs,” said James M. Foote, president and chief executive officer. “We believe these efforts will identify a robust pipeline of opportunities that will deliver material value to CSX over the next several years.”

The eastern North Carolina segment extends from Plymouth to Rocky Mount, with a branch that extends from Parmele through Greenville, Winterville, Ayden and Grifton, ending just south of Graingers.

The news release said the six lines may be purchased by one buyer, multiple buyers or may not be sold at all, depending on the bids received.

CSX wants to improve the operational performance of its core network, a spokesman said, along with enhancing its asset utilization, reducing transit times and creating a more reliable service product.

He said CSX is committed to ensuring a continuity of services to customers along the line. CSX would not reveal how many customers it serves on the eastern North Carolina lines, saying the information would only be provided to prospective bidders.

The decision to sell the rail line has no connection to the Rocky Mount intermodel hub, a site first proposed in 2016 that would route freight from trucks and trains to customers along the East Coast. The project was placed on hold late last year after CSX announced it was reassessing its traditional hub-and-spoke business model.

“CSX remains in active discussion with the state of North Carolina about the proposed need for an intermodel hub in North Carolina and they are ongoing,” the CSX spokesman said.

The eastern North Carolina segment was previously owned by Seaboard Coastline railroad. It merged with another rail system in 1980 with the new company eventually becoming CSX, a spokesman said.

The other lines being offered for sale include the Massena Line extending north from Syracuse, N.Y., to Canada; Baldwinsville Subdivision line extending west of Syracuse; West Albany and Rensselaer, New York, a collection of properties near Albany; Cumberland Valley feeder lines extending east of Corbin, Ky.; and Marietta Subdivision branch line extending north out of Parkersburg, W.Va.

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