On Friday, U.S. Representative Richard Hudson visited and toured the CSX Hamlet train terminal north of the City of Hamlet.
During his visit, Angie Averitte, terminal superintendent, informed him of the importance of transportation to expanding the local economy and creating jobs. Hudson was also enlightened on various railroad equipment and technology as well as the process of railroad transportation.
The congressman was able to see all aspects of the large railroad yard, including the repair facility.
Averitte mentioned to Hudson that the company was hiring and that it was a solid company that provided good quality jobs.
“CSX Hamlet station is the largest employer in the City of Hamlet,” Averitte said.
“We’ve got a lot of people and they understand how important it is to take care of the customers,” she said.
CSX Hamlet Terminal is a train sorting station where trains come in, get separated, segregated and then reassembled based on their destinations. It is located northeast of Hamlet off 177 North.
Hudson was also able to take a tour of the Hamlet Rail Turnout Facility under construction, just outside of town. At this location, sections of rail will be made to replace turnouts. The projected date of completion of this facility is at the end of this year.
“I’m so impressed by the people at the CSX facility,” said Hudson. “The service that they provide is critical to creating jobs in the community.”
Hudson has close relatives that have worked for the railroad. James Watson, his grandfather from Maxton, lived in Hamlet as a boy on Washington Street and came back as an adult to work for the railroad where he later retired. He started out on a crew laying down track, and by the time he retired he’d worked his way up to road master.
Hudson remembers that his grandfathers’s office was located upstairs in the corner on the second floor of the the old train station.
Also, his grandfather’s brother Wiley Watson, a Hamlet resident, worked for the railroad. He has retired from the railroad, but he currently gives tours of the train station.
Another brother of his grandfather, Jack Watson, worked on the railroad for about 32 years and he now lives in Kentucky.
Rep. Hudson was elected in November 2012 to represent North Carolina’s 8th Congressional District. This district includes all or part of 12 counties, including Richmond, which span from Charlotte to Thomasville and across South-Central North Carolina to Robeson County.
The stop in Hamlet was part of a “transportation tour” across the district. Hudson was visiting local air, rail, and surface transportation hubs and discussed the importance of transportation to the economy. Activities at each stop included: briefing on equipment and technology, viewing of dispatch operations, and learning about employment opportunities.
— Staff Writer Iris Hunter can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 18, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.