Forty-eight hours. Seventeen miles. Two curves. It all added up to a major first for R. J. Corman Railroad Services.
That was the math facing Corman as the company completed 17.2 miles of surfacing and performed rail adjustments on two curves during a 48-hour uninterrupted shutdown of the Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) light rail system.
The entirety of the project was completed in 38 hours and without any injuries or lost-time incidents.
While surfacing and rail adjustment jobs are within the scope of services provided by Corman, this particular job marked the first time the company had performed this type of work on a light rail system. Previously, Corman performed railroad maintenance and construction work on Class I, regional and short line railroads.
“We were definitely excited to have been a part of this project,” said John Langston, Vice President of Operations for R. J. Corman Railroad Group. “We were prepared, we had the capacity and expertise and the job went very well. There is a lot of opportunity in light rail construction and maintenance and we are ready to take on more of this kind of work. We look forward to working with more remarkable customers like the Charlotte Area Transit System.”
A total of 66 employees worked in three crews on different sections of the line in a densely-populated area during the shutdown. The three crews utilized approximately 15 pieces of rail equipment including tampers, rotary dump trucks, welding trucks, and other specialty on-rail equipment. In addition to the surfacing work, rail adjustments were completed on two curves to remediate sun kinks.
“R. J. Corman tamped and regulated the southern alignment on our track in less than 48 hours,” said Stephen Newcomb, the Maintenance of Way Manager for the Charlotte Area Transit System. “They maintained an open communication with CATS staff which is important with so many moving parts.”