For those who’ve missed seeing trains in Mount Airy in recent days, take heart — local railroad traffic is expected to resume soon after repairs are completed around a section of track damaged by recent rains.
Heavy downpours last week not only caused flooded roadways and basements, vehicular accidents, power outages and other problems, but overwhelmed a culvert along the Yadkin Valley Railroad Line — washing out the ground to leave a portion of track exposed.
That damage occurred in the vicinity of Community Building Road in the Ararat area southeast of Mount Airy where a small creek feeds into the Ararat River. Ararat and surrounding communities were the hardest hit by last week’s storm system that reportedly dumped around 13 inches of rain over a period of about three days.
But the good news is that repairs are under way to the affected railway section.
“We’ve got a crew on hand up there actually working on that now,” the manager of the Yadkin Valley Railroad office in Rural Hall said Tuesday afternoon.
“It should take us about a week, and we should have everything back up and going then,” added the railway official, who declined to provide his name.
“We just have to replace a culvert that that amount of water had overtaken,” he said in reference to the 13-inch total.
Railroad tracks do fall victim to certain events from time to time, but last week’s storm approached the realm of the abnormal, the Yadkin Valley Railroad spokesman indicated.
“That was kind of a freak rainstorm, just so much at one time — we’ve had things happen in the past, but nothing lately like that.”
Until the work is completed, rail shipments to the Mount Airy area will be delayed.
“It just slows everything down for a week or so,” the railway official said of the net effect.
“Our customers are not in dire need of their products yet,” he said, expressing hope that the track can be reopened before any major difficulties occur along those lines.
A train typically makes a run to Mount Airy once a week, twice weekly at times, according to the Yadkin Valley Railroad manager.
Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.