North Carolina Department of Transportation


Davidson County, NC


Rail Transportation: Freight Rail, Line Segments & Tunnels


Environmental Sciences: Environmental Impact Statements & Assessments

Design: Civil Engineering, Structural Engineering

Bowers to Lake Double Track

Each day, as many as 40 passenger trains and high-priority freights travel the busy 92-mile stretch between Greensboro and Charlotte, NC. Up until the 1960s, the corridor featured two tracks linking these cities before portions of the second track were removed for signal system improvements, drastically increasing rail traffic. As part of a $20 million project, STV provided the North Carolina Department of Transportation with designs for a 4.2-mile second track portion between the Bowers and Lake control points of the North Carolina Railroad from Lexington to Thomasville, NC.

This design eliminated unnecessary switch tracks and reconfigured existing ones by flattening horizontal curves and lengthening spirals to let trains safely increase speeds from 75 mph to 90. After an emergency services study, STV provided recommendations for heavy truck crossings and closures. A geotechnical analysis led the firm to suggest the rehabilitation of a 1907 arch bridge along with the replacement of a 115-year bridge over Abbott’s Creek. To protect the surrounding wetlands, STV also worked with another firm representing NCDOT’s Environmental and Planning Branch to accommodate rail work while minimizing environmental impact.