2 people hit and killed by separate trains Sunday night in Rowan County

Two people were hit and killed by trains in separate incidents in Spencer on Sunday night, authorities said.

Both victims had been sitting on the train tracks near the N.C. Transportation Museum in Rowan County when they were hit, said Paul Worley, director of the N.C. Department of Transportation’s rail division.

In the first incident, a Norfolk Southern Train traveling northbound hit a man sitting on the rails between the museum and Torbush Street just before 9 p.m. The operator blew the train’s horn multiple times after spotting the man, who did not move, Worley said.

Only a few hours later, at 11:20 p.m., another person was hit while sitting on the tracks just north of the area by a southbound Norfolk train.

The names of the victims have not been released.

Other trains were delayed up to two hours after each incident, Worley said.

Worley warned that walking on the rails is trespassing and can be dangerous. Oncoming trains are often hard to hear, especially if someone is listening to an electronic device, he said.

Operators can see the rails through a video screen, he said, but they don’t usually blow the horn unless the train is at a crossing.

The N.C. Department of Transportation created the Be Rail Safe program to teach people how to stay safe while driving, biking and walking near train tracks.

Bacon: 704-358-5725; Twitter: @erindbacon