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State Rail Plan Recommendations

​​​​​​​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.

Freight Rail

  • 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.

Passenger Rail

  • 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.

5/4/2020 1:27 PM