North Carolina DOT awards short line railroad grants

Published 4:02 pm Tuesday, December 26, 2023

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RALEIGH – The N.C. Department of Transportation’s Rail Division is investing $10.2 million as part of 50-50 matching grant funding for rail infrastructure projects along 10 short line railroads, including one in the Roanoke-Chowan area, and at the North Carolina Ports.

The state’s share of the $20.5 million for all the rail projects is provided through the NCDOT’s Freight Rail & Rail Crossing Safety Improvement (FRRCSI) program. It will match equal investments from several railroad companies.

The projects will improve 14 railroad bridges and 27 miles of railroad track in North Carolina, supporting the increase of freight rail traffic on the statewide railroad network, and reducing highway traffic congestion by diverting freight to rail.

Among the grant recipients is North Carolina and Virginia Railroad. They will receive $800,916 for track upgrades and improvement of a rail crossing along the mainline rail corridor (Northampton County).

“We are pleased to work with our short line railroad partners to improve the state’s critical freight rail network,” said Jason Orthner, NCDOT Rail director. “These projects are important investments to ensure our infrastructure can support growing transportation demands and economic development opportunities.”

Through the FRRCSI program, NCDOT’s Rail Division partners with railroad companies to support statewide freight rail infrastructure health, safety and performance. This public-private partnership helps efficiently and cost-effectively meet the growing demand for rail service.

Each of the rail improvement projects will be paid for with 50-50 matching funds from the state and private railroad companies.