Track Cycling

Abandoned tracks in Winston-Salem create hazard for drivers, cyclists – WGHP FOX 8 Greensboro

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – An abandoned branch line of Norfolk Southern’s railways on Hope Church Road has become a danger to runners and cyclists.

“The roadway has sunken in, and the rails are sticking up two to three inches,” said Matt Winnicki with the Foothills Brewing Cycling Club.

Over the years the club, whose members use the road for group rides, has seen the track crossing the road get worse.

“We didn’t know how hazardous it was until we had a couple of bad accidents,” Winnicki said.

In June of 2019, several cyclists were injured.

“It just came up on us,” said cyclist Lisa Featherngill, who suffered several broken ribs and a punctured lung after crashing on the tracks. “The asphalt along the tracks is deteriorating and creating holes along the tracks.”

Winnicki says he reached out to state and city transportation officials last summer.

The holes were patched, and city transportation officials contacted Norfolk Southern Railroad, who owns the tracks, for permission to remove them.

City officials confirmed this week to FOX8 that they still are waiting for a response from Norfolk Southern eight months later.

“I tried to follow up with Norfolk Southern directly, but I couldn’t get them to answer their phone,” Winnicki said. “It’s hard enough to be out here fighting traffc…we are just asking for a little relief.”

Norfolk Southern has not returned FOX8’s email and telephone request for comment.