Lake Norman & Mooresville

Hickory presses for train stop

City of Hickory officials are trying to make sure Catawba County's biggest city doesn't get left off a future Salisbury-to-Asheville passenger train route.

The city's old train depot had formerly been designated as a stop on the route, which the state has been planning since 1997.

But last year, Hickory sold the depot building to two businessmen who plan to open a restaurant there. Sale documents didn't mention a passenger train stop.

Hickory officials recently became concerned with making sure Hickory will still be on the train route after they received a copy of a letter the state rail division sent to neighboring Conover. The state notified the smaller city that the site of a former manufacturing plant in Conover will be a stop on the train route.

Since then, Hickory officials have discussed with state transportation planners Hickory's desire to be included, too. “… I believe we will have an opportunity to have Hickory re-engaged in this process,” City Manager Mick Berry wrote to City Council members in a recent memo.