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Trains may once again roll into Spring Hope

Posted on September 8, 2021

Updated on September 13, 2021

Local news
The Spring Hope Public Library occupies the old train station in downtown Spring Hope's Depot Park  The N.C. Department of Transportation is working to restore passenger and freight rail service.

Lindell J. Kay | Enterprise

The Spring Hope Public Library occupies the old train station in downtown Spring Hope's Depot Park The N.C. Department of Transportation is working to restore passenger and freight rail service.

lkay@springhopeenterprise.com

SPRING HOPE — The state is working to reestablish passenger and freight rail service to Spring Hope.

The news came at the tail end of a two-hour Sept. 7 town board meeting.

Mayor Buddy Gwaltney made the announcement after saying he’d been talking with N.C. Department of Transportation officials.

As part of the project, the NCDOT also plans to rehabilitate the dilapidated pedestrian bridge over the tracks that connect East Branch and East Railroad streets at Bridge Street and gift it to the town. The repairs would include fixing the bridge’s wooden planks and sandblasting and repainting the metal trusses.

Gwaltney said state transportation officials asked him whether the town would be interested in having a trolley car for special events like the Spring Hope National Pumpkin Festival or a spooky ride for Halloween.

The NCDOT has to rehab the tracks.

“I don’t think it will happen in the next few months,” Gwaltney said.

Long abandoned, the stretch of railroad connecting Spring Hope through Momeyer to a hub in Rocky Mount was purchased by the NCDOT from a railroad company in 2006.

The mayor’s announcement came with a setback to officials’ plans. He said the town won’t be able to build a train-like playground on the tracks at Depot Park.

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