CLNA NEWS – November, 2013
Editor – Kelly Bass
While traffic has slowed somewhat this fall, we are beginning to see some changes that should provide some positive growth in the long term. We are expecting Pencco in Middlesex to generate a regular traffic flow and we are looking at the possibility of bringing in some of their raw materials through the port at Morehead City. Furthermore, we are in discussions to locate an industry in Knightdale that should also bring some much needed business to the Raleigh end of the railroad. We have developed shorthaul corn, wheat, and soybean traffic from the Plymouth/Belhaven portion of the railroad, including traffic from new shipper Lake Phelps Grain in Plymouth and from the Perdue Belhaven elevator, as well as our other regular shippers. In November, we expect to close on the acquisition of some property in Rocky Mount that will enable us to develop a transload terminal next to our yard. This will allow us to solicit business from numerous industries in the region that are not directly rail served.
Work will soon begin on two projects for which we received matching NCDOT funding. These two projects will include about 8,000 ties, plus the upgrading to heavier rail on the curves between Rocky Mount and Nashville. We have begun our tamping project, with the goal of completing the line between Wilson and Plymouth, and continuing to spot in ties as needed along the main line. Our newly acquired SW1400 arrived in Rocky Mount and should go into service shortly after the first of the year.
George Harkins and Matthew Wilson have been added to our T&E department. Welcome aboard! We were delighted to see them and everyone else at our annual Christmas party at Wilson Country Club on December 7. On some personal notes, I was recently invited to Norfolk Southern’s Palatka (FL) Fish Camp as part of a small group of shortlines, shippers, and NS representatives. See the picture below for the one that did not get away. I was also recently elected to the Board of Directors for the Southern Region of the American Shortline and Regional Railroad Association. Without the efforts of all of you to make CLNA a great success story, this would not have been possible. Thank you!
Meet Our Customer
Roanoke Farm Supply, Plymouth NC
Roanoke Farm Supply located in Plymouth, NC is one of our customers that recently opened in July 2010. I met with Manager Mark Oliver to talk about the company. Mr. Oliver explained to me that they were a full fledge fertilizer, seed and chemical supplier to farmers in the area. Since opening in 2010 they have done a lot of upgrades and tore down some buildings while adding others. All of their lime, a large portion of the potash, and a little bit of liquid fertilizer comes in by rail. He explained that cost advantage was a big factor when bringing in certain products either by truck or by rail. Mr. Oliver liked to use rail when he could, but cost of delivery was a major point. I asked about the service Carolina Coastal has provided him and he stated he had no problems with the railroad and that they work well with us. He went on to tell me that the Plymouth Train crew would call and ask how he wanted the rail cars lined up before getting into town. They have a long track, but the spot for unloading railcars will not fit lime cars and potash at the same time. One product would have to be spotted and then switched to get the other. Mr. Oliver said he had no complaints with that. Hopefully the rail service between Roanoke Farm Supply and Carolina Coastal Railway can continue to fulfill what they have become accustomed to and are happy with.
Meet Our Employees
Richard Durham, Signal Maintainer
Richard Durham is one of our signal maintainers in our signal department. He started working with CLNA in August of 2012 after working for 20 years in electrical construction. Mr. Durham told me he loved it and wishes he had started doing signal work 20 years ago. Richard and his wife, Linda, have been married for 17 years. They have three kids and five grandkids. Mr. Durham told me he is a simple guy and went on to explain he hangs around the house and plays with the grandkids whenever he can. After that he summed it up in three words for me, Church, family and work. After talking with him a few minutes I could see how faith kept him positive, family kept him grounded and work kept him busy. Mr. Durham went on to tell me he loves the guys he works with and has the best supervisor in Dwight Scott anyone could ask for. Then added, “I have a lot of respect for him and how he treats us”.
I asked Mr. Durham where he wanted to go with the company and he answered that he was really happy where he is. He wants to stay on course with what he is doing and continue to grow in the signal department until he retires. He continued with “as I grow, I want the railroad to grow and get bigger”. One goal he wants to see is that all the signals across the system get upgraded. He added, “We are working on it and it is better than it was, but I still want it to continue to improve”.
See previous Newsletter