Twice a day
Twice a day at around 9Am and between 3-9PM a 10-20 freight train passes behind the berm , fence and planting buffer of 408 Sir Walker Lane. It passes quickly at a slow speed, it is just 10-20 cars, and because there isn’t a cross street by the house there isn’t a sound of brakes, just a clattering of wheels that you have to listen for to hear from inside the house. Maybe you can hear an occasional whistle off in the distance, it’s a romantic sound that has mostly disappeared from the Triangle. Take a look at the video at the bottom of the page of the train passing. It went by in 1 minute and 44 seconds.
Rails to Trails
In years past NC was a mostly a state of tobacco farmers and textile workers. Trains moved the products from one small town to another heading off to the factories located in the cities. Passenger trains have never made economical sense in the South because the population density couldn’t support them. Freight trains moved goods fast and efficiently.
In NC almost all of the textile mills are gone now. Some of the old buildings have been recycled into shops and restaurants adding charm to modern life. The tobacco farms are gone too. The government stopped tobacco subsidies in the early 2000’s so farmers turned their fields into other crops and lots of subdivisions.
The old railroad beds have been torn up and turned into trails in many places. The American Tobacco Trail is a great example of what is being done with the obsolete tracks. Spanning almost 24 miles it passes through Durham, Wake and Chatham Counties.
CXS, previously D&S
The info below can be found in the origional article from AmericanRails.com
Despite the road’s small size at less than 60 miles in length it served the growing Piedmont region of North Carolina, which at the time boasted a strong industrial base in textiles and tobacco.
The railroad would become part of the Seaboard Coast Line system in the late 1970s. Unfortunately, after CSX Transportation was formed most of the D&S was either outright abandoned or sold. Today, just a short segment of the original main line is still active.
Today, CSX continues to use the Durham to Apex route, 20.7 miles, although the rest of the original D&S has long since been abandoned with some sections turned into local rail/trails.
This info can be found on Trainorders.com
Durham-Apex remains in CSX service, although it’s 10-20 mph track. The D&S is CSX’s only access into Durham; the ex-SAL branch into Durham from the north was severed 25+ years ago.
Headed south from Apex, the D&S was pulled up completely, and in many places the rapid development of Wake County has obliterated the roadbed. When the large plant at Erwin closed, that end of the line was pulled up too. Erwin-Dunn survives as a trail.