Since 1977, the N.C. Department of Transportation's Rail Division has focused on the safe and efficient movement of people and goods on North Carolina's railroads through passenger and freight service as well as safety programs while supporting job creation and economic growth.
North Carolina is served by six intercity passenger routes (including service on the state-supported NC By Train) with stops in 16 cities and towns. Nine of those stops are along the busy, 174-mile Piedmont Corridor between Charlotte and Raleigh.
More than 70 percent of the state's population is within a 30-mile radius of a passenger station, with an additional 11 percent of North Carolina residents residing within a 30-mile radius of stops served by Amtrak's bus service.
All this means nearly 900,000 passengers boarding trains in North Carolina in 2016.
The Rail Division has also played a major role in improving and modernizing train service in North Carolina so that it is safer and more efficient. Key programs and initiatives include the Sealed Corridor Program, BeRailSafe and the Piedmont Improvement Program.
Considering the positive impact on the economy, job creation and business growth, the Rail Division also maintains a heightened focus on freight, logistics, ports and intermodal facilities. The state is served by two major railroads – Norfolk Southern Railway and CSX Transportation – and 20 short line railroads that connect businesses and industries to the major network.
The Rail Division also coordinates with federal agencies, railroad companies, industry and corporate leaders, other state agencies and economic developers to accomplish its goals of improving and expanding freight rail service.