First phase of railroad work in Coweta nearing completion

by Sarah Fay Campbell


Photo by Jeffrey Leo

Crews from Norfolk Southern Railway with a small army of orange rail work cars have nearly completed the first phase of replacing cross ties and some rails along the east-west line. The final layer of asphalt won't be placed on the crossings until after rail 'surfacing' is done. 

Crews from Norfolk Southern Railway have nearly completed replacing cross ties, and some rails, on their rail line that runs east-west across Coweta County.

Work began in Senoia. Crews were working in Newnan this week and heading west. A small army of orange railroad work cars moved along the tracks Thursday and Friday from First Avenue to the area of Franklin Highway and on alongside Temple Avenue/ Carrollton Highway.

The work required the temporary closing of crossings along the rail line, and reworking of the crossings.

The repaired crossings are currently topped with a “cold patch” of asphalt. That’s not the final pavement.

“They’re going to go and surface the track,” said Sandi Parisian of Road Safe Rail, which provides flaggers, traffic control and notifications for the NFS roadwork.

The “surface truck” is like a huge train, which will go over the tracks to make sure they are level. Once the surfacing work is done, “we’re going to do the final layer of asphalt,” Parisian said.

The surface truck can be two to three miles long, Parisian said. It goes very slowly and moves back and forth. It will take about an hour to go through each crossing, she said. Because of that, there could be multiple crossings closed at the same time.

“But we will be flagging those” so that motorists will know in advance, Parisian said.

The final step will be the asphalt topping. That will require the crossings to be closed four to six hours, in order to provide time for the asphalt to cure, Parisian said.

Parisian said she doesn't have a current estimate of when the surfacing and paving will take place, but will provide that information when it is available.

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