Corridor Program Map
Project Map

Corridor Program Map (386KB)

Project Video
Piedmont Improvement Program

Description

The N.C. Department of Transportation is investing in the modernization of the state’s railways through a series of railroad and highway construction projects and enhancements known as the Piedmont Improvement Program, or PIP. The outcome will make train travel safer and more reliable, enhance opportunity for greater job growth and commercial development and better connect the economic regions of Raleigh and Charlotte and the cities, towns and communities in between.

These projects are largely funded through federal stimulus money through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The Federal Railroad Administration awarded the state a $546.5 million grant from that program in 2010. A cooperative agreement with the agency specifies that $520 million of the money goes directly to PIP. The rest of the money is helping to improve reliability of existing freight and passenger service from Raleigh to Virginia.

Project Overview and Purpose

  • The Piedmont Improvement Program includes adding up to two daily passenger- train round trips between Raleigh and Charlotte – making a total of five round trips daily, building new bridges for trains to cross over or under vehicular traffic and closing some railroad crossings. Additionally, roads will be constructed and parallel railroad tracks built along parts of the corridor that move freight and passengers through the heart of the state.
  • North Carolina has nearly 3,300 miles of track used by passenger and freight trains alike. PIP also will benefit Class One railroads, such as Norfolk Southern and CSX Transportation.
  • Improvements will ensure more opportunities for businesses and freight partners. Safety and efficiency on the tracks allow freight railroads to get more goods to communities in North Carolina to bring about job growth and economic development.
  • To complete the work, NCDOT is partnering with the North Carolina Railroad Company, the owner of the Raleigh to Charlotte railroad corridor, and Norfolk Southern Railway and CSX Transportation, which are performing the track construction.

Project Highlights

Subject to Federal Railroad Administration cooperative agreements, the Piedmont Improvement Program will specifically:

  • Add 12 new bridges that will carry roadways over or under railroad tracks to separate traffic from trains and improve safety for motorists.
  • Add 31 miles of parallel, or second track, and passing sidings, to help freight and passenger trains move in a more reliable and timely manner.
  • Add 12 miles of new highway construction.
  • Close 23 public and 15 private railroad crossings to eliminate the potential for train and vehicle collisions.
  • Add two daily passenger-train round trips between Raleigh and Charlotte with seven stops in between.
  • Renovate train stations in Cary, High Point, Burlington and Kannapolis.
  • Refurbish and add passenger rail cars to the fleet.

All Piedmont Improvement Program track and bridge construction projects are now underway, with several projects already completed.

Corridor Projects

Project Location Description Status
Raleigh Union Station Raleigh A passenger train station in downtown Raleigh to better accommodate future travel demand Under construction
Morrisville Parkway Grade Separation Cary/Morrisville Also part of the Sealed Corridor Program, a railroad bridge over the Morrisville Parkway in Morrisville to reduce the risk of vehicle-train collisions by eliminating the street-level railroad crossing Complete
Hopson Road Grade Separation and Passing Siding Durham/Morrisville A railroad bridge over Hopson Road in Durham, as well as a passing siding track allowing trains to pass one another Complete
Graham to Haw River Passing Siding Graham to Haw River A passing siding track, allowing trains to pass one another, to eliminate bottlenecking Complete
McLeansville Road Grade Separation McLeansville A highway bridge carrying McLeansville Road in McLeansville over the North Carolina Railroad tracks, to reduce the risk of vehicle-train collisions by eliminating three street-level railroad crossings Complete
Double Track Project Thomasville to Lexington A second main track, 4 miles long, between Thomasville and Lexington to allow trains to pass more frequently, thereby reducing congestion Complete
Upper Lake Road Grade Separation Thomasville to Lexington A highway bridge carrying Upper Lake Road over the North Carolina Railroad tracks in Davidson County to reduce the risk of vehicle-train collisions by eliminating the street-level railroad crossing Complete
Turner Road Grade Separation Thomasville to Lexington A highway bridge carrying Turner Road over the North Carolina Railroad tracks in Davidson County to reduce the risk of vehicle-train collisions by eliminating the street-level railroad crossing Complete
Duke Curve Track Improvements Linwood Reconstructed railroad tracks south of Linwood Rail Yard and north of the bridge over Yadkin River to improve train speeds Complete
Klumac Road Grade Separation Salisbury to Kannapolis A railroad bridge over Klumac Road in Salisbury that eliminates a railroad crossing at Klumac Road to reduce the risk of vehicle-train collisions Complete
Double Track Project and Kimball Road Extension Salisbury to Kannapolis Eleven miles of a second track between Salisbury and Kannapolis to allow trains to pass more frequently, thereby reducing congestion; extension of Kimball Road in Landis and China Grove; and a bridge carrying the railroad tracks over Kimball Road Complete
Peeler Road Grade Separation Salisbury to Kannapolis A highway bridge carrying Peeler Road over the North Carolina Railroad tracks in Rowan County to reduce the risk of vehicle-train collisions by eliminating the street-level railroad crossing Complete
Double Track Project Harrisburg to Charlotte Approximately 12 miles of a second track from Harrisburg to Charlotte to allow trains to pass more frequently, thereby reducing congestion Complete
Pharr Mill Road Grade Separation Harrisburg to Charlotte A highway bridge carrying Phar Mill Road over the North Carolina Railroad tracks in Cabarrus County to reduce the risk of vehicle-train collisions by eliminating the street-level railroad crossing Complete
Roberta Road Grade Separation Harrisburg to Charlotte A highway bridge carrying a new extension of Roberta Road over the North Carolina Railroad tracks in Harrisburg to reduce the risk of vehicle-train collisions by eliminating two street-level crossings Complete
Caldwell Park Drive Harrisburg to Charlotte An extension of Caldwell Park Drive in Cabarrus County to provide alternate access for crossings to Caldwell Road and N.C. 49 to reduce the risk of vehicle-train collisions Complete
Caldwell Road Grade Separation Harrisburg to Charlotte A highway bridge carrying Caldwell Road over the North Carolina Railroad tracks in Cabarrus County that eliminates the street-level railroad crossing Complete
Grier Road Grade Separation Harrisburg to Charlotte A highway bridge over the North Carolina Railroad tracks at Grier Road in Charlotte to reduce the risk of vehicle-train collisions by eliminating the street-level railroad crossing Complete
Charlotte Locomotive and Railcar Maintenance Facility Charlotte A locomotive and passenger railcar maintenance facility in Charlotte to support future passenger service Under construction