The N.C. Department of Transportation's Comprehensive State Rail Plan, last approved and adopted in August 2015, includes key recommendations in the areas of freight rail, passenger rail, safety and funding.
- Fund track improvements on corridors prioritized by rail volumes, truck volumes on parallel highways, the Strategic Rail Corridor Network and connectivity to major freight activity centers.
- Support rail industrial access and short lines through state grants to enhance North Carolina industries' connectivity to the Class I rail system.
- Add amenities and conveniences to existing passenger services to enhance rider experience.
- Add more frequencies to the Piedmont and Carolinian services from Raleigh to Charlotte to enhance mobility and help connect people to jobs and educational opportunities across regions.
- Improve stations and maintain and/or replace equipment, such as locomotives and passenger cars.
- Pursue full implementation of the Southeast Rail Corridor, which, when completed, may provide a public-private partnership opportunity for operations and maintenance.
- Implement Amtrak Thruway Bus Service to western North Carolina.
- Plan for future expansions of rail service to western and southeastern North Carolina.
- Continue investing in the NCDOT's nationally recognized best-practice safety programs through at-grade crossing improvements, Federal Railroad Administration- certified State Rail Safety Inspections and BeRailSafe.
- Encourage operators to take advantage of state intermodal tax credits where possible.
- Support the reauthorization of federal rail, freight and passenger programs.
- Use state and local funding and private investment to leverage federal funds.