Runyon Creek railroad trestle buckles

Published 4:01 pm Wednesday, November 23, 2022

A railroad trestle across Runyon Creek appeared to fail this week, buckling just more than two-and-a-half years after a similar event requiring removal of a train from the damaged bridge by railroad workers.

The trestle, connecting railroad tracks between Washington Park and Havens Garden, was visibly damaged as early as Wednesday. A train engine was stopped on the west side of the trestle behind Inner Banks Outfitters and Backwater Jack’s restaurant. Stationary train cars rested on the east side of the trestle, just off the bridge.

The line is operated by Carolina Coastal Railway, a shortline railroad based in Wilson. Attempts to reach Carolina Coastal Railway were not immediately returned.

The business operates 179 miles of track in Northeastern North Carolina, according to its website, and serves the Port of Morehead City. Additional services include storage, switching and track maintenance.

A freight train traveling south across Runyon Creek came to a stop on the tracks in April of 2020 when the conductor recognized the trestle failure as it buckled under the weight of the train.

Railroad workers were able to safely remove a rail car stranded on the trestle bridge after first disconnecting the locomotive and several cars from those on the other side.