Leaders seek improvements to problematic Wingate train tracks after collisions

Tractor trailers continue to get stuck on these tracks. In some cases, trains are actually slamming into those trucks.
A train hit a coal truck stuck on the tracks near Wingate University on Wednesday.
Published: Mar. 8, 2023 at 1:08 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

UNION COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) – Leaders in Wingate are meeting Wednesday night to address problematic train tracks.

Tractor-trailers continue to get stuck on these tracks. In some cases, trains are actually slamming into those trucks.

It’s been a problem for years, and the Wingate Board of Commissioners is holding a special meeting to find a fix.

Along Main Street near Highway 74, just outside the Wingate University campus, there is a slight incline of the roadway where it meets the tracks.

Part of the problem is there’s not enough clearance between a tractor-trailer’s landing gear and the tracks, so it gets caught up. Trucks can get stuck for hours and lately it’s caused a lot more problems.

Two incidents within a week of each other back in January show just how dangerous this can be.

Video shows a truck stuck on the tracks when the train hit it, pushing the truck about a quarter of a mile. A week before that, the same thing happened.

For the second time in a week, a train struck a tractor-trailer in the town of Wingate.

Related: Wingate residents concerned after two train crashes occur within span of a week

No one was hurt in either incident, but the town manager says this has happened at least 20 times in the past three years.

The town points to CSX and the North Carolina Department of Transportation, which owns the roadway.

NCDOT officials say the roadway on both sides of the tracks needs to be raised, along with the signs and equipment. That comes with at least a $1 million price tag.

Town commissioners will come together with NCDOT staff to talk about those improvements.

Although people who live in the area are welcome to attend and learn more, there won’t be public comment allowed at the meeting, which starts Wednesday at 5 p.m. at the Wingate Government Center.