Corridor Program Map
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Corridor Program Map (386KB)

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Piedmont Improvement Program

Description

The N.C. Department of Transportation has invested 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. These improvements have made train travel safer and more reliable, enhanced opportunity for greater job growth and commercial development and has better connected the economic regions of Raleigh and Charlotte and the cities, towns and communities in between.

These projects were largely funded with federal stimulus money through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Additionally, the Federal Railroad Administration awarded the state a $520 million grant from that program in 2010. The Department has completed this series of projects between Raleigh and Charlotte, including track, roadway, signal, station, and equipment upgrades necessary for improved freight service and increased passenger rail service frequencies.

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 were 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 benefits Class One railroads, such as Norfolk Southern and CSX Transportation.
  • Improvements are now ensuring 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 partnered with the North Carolina Railroad Company, the owner of the Raleigh to Charlotte railroad corridor, and Norfolk Southern Railway and CSX Transportation, which performed track construction.

Project Highlights

The Piedmont Improvement Program specifically:

  • Added 13 new bridges to carry roadways over or under railroad tracks to separate traffic from trains and improve safety for motorists
  • Added 27 miles of parallel, or second track, on the heavily travelled corridor between Greensboro and Charlotte, making the entire 92-mile segment double track
  • Added 5 miles of passing sidings between Raleigh and Greensboro to help freight and passenger trains move in a more reliable and timely manner
  • Added approximately 12 miles of new highway construction to facilitate the new highway bridges and remove at-grade crossings
  • Closed over 40 railroad crossings to eliminate the potential for train and vehicle collisions
  • Improved railroad curves for more consistent higher operating speeds
  • Installed remote controlled high speed switches in 5 locations to allow trains to quickly move between tracks, improving efficiency and ride quality
  • Renovated train stations in Cary, High Point, Burlington and Kannapolis
  • Refurbished and added passenger rail cars to the fleet
  • Will add two daily passenger-train round trips between Raleigh and Charlotte with seven stops in between

Piedmont Improvement Program Projects

Project Location Description
Morrisville Parkway grade separation Cary/Morrisville Elimination of the street-level railroad crossing and construction of a railroad bridge over Morrisville Parkway
Hopson Road grade separation and passing siding Durham/Morrisville Elimination of the street-level railroad crossing and construction of a railroad bridge over Hopson Road in Durham as well as a 3-mile passing siding track
Graham to Haw River passing siding Graham to Haw River Construction of a 2-mile passing siding track
McLeansville Road grade separation McLeansville Elimination of three street-level railroad crossings and construction of a highway bridge carrying McLeansville Road over the North Carolina Railroad tracks
Double Track project Thomasville to Lexington A 4-mile second main track between Thomasville and Lexington
Upper Lake Road grade separation Thomasville to Lexington Elimination of the street-level railroad crossing and construction of a highway bridge carrying Upper Lake Road over the North Carolina Railroad tracks in Davidson County
Turner Road grade separation Thomasville to Lexington Elimination of the street-level railroad crossing and construction of a highway bridge carrying Turner Road over the North Carolina Railroad tracks in Davidson County
Duke Curve Track improvements Linwood Reconstruction of railroad tracks south of Linwood Rail Yard and north of the bridge over Yadkin River to improve train speeds and reduce travel time
Klumac Road grade separation Salisbury to Kannapolis Elimination of the street-level railroad crossing and construction of a railroad bridge over Klumac Road in Salisbury
Double Track Project and Kimball Road Extension Salisbury to Kannapolis Construction of 10 miles of a second track between Salisbury and Kannapolis as well as the extension of Kimball Road in Landis/China Grove with a bridge carrying the railroad tracks over Kimball Road
Peeler Road grade separation Salisbury to Kannapolis Elimination of the street-level railroad crossing and construction of a highway bridge carrying Peeler Road over the North Carolina Railroad tracks in Rowan County
Double track project Harrisburg to Charlotte Construction of approximately 12 miles of a second track from Harrisburg to Charlotte
Pharr Mill Road grade separation Harrisburg to Charlotte Elimination of the street-level railroad crossing and construction of a highway bridge carrying Pharr Mill Road over the North Carolina Railroad tracks in Cabarrus County
Roberta Road grade separation Harrisburg to Charlotte Elimination of the street-level railroad crossing and construction of a highway bridge carrying a new extension of Roberta Road over the North Carolina Railroad tracks in Harrisburg
Caldwell Park Drive Harrisburg to Charlotte Elimination of the street-level railroad crossing and the extension of Caldwell Park Drive in Cabarrus County to provide alternate access
Caldwell Road grade separation Harrisburg to Charlotte Elimination of the street-level railroad crossing and construction of a highway bridge carrying Caldwell Road over the North Carolina Railroad tracks in Cabarrus County
Grier Road grade separation Harrisburg to Charlotte Elimination of the street-level railroad crossing and construction of a highway bridge over the North Carolina Railroad tracks at Grier Road in Charlotte
Private crossing safety initiative 15 projects in various locations Closure of or addition of alternate access to more than a dozen street-level railroad crossings to reduce the risk of vehicle-train collisions at privately owned street-level crossings through closure and alternate access
Raleigh Union Station track work Raleigh Track construction to support a new Raleigh Union Station
Capital Yard maintenance facility expansion Raleigh Expansion of the existing maintenance facility to accommodate additional equipment and servicing of the Piedmont fleet.
Charlotte Locomotive and Railcar Maintenance Facility Charlotte Construction of a new locomotive and passenger railcar maintenance facility to support additional passenger service
Passenger rail equipment Addition of five refurbished locomotives, nine railcars and two cab control units for expanded Piedmont passenger rail services
Station Improvement Cary Enlarged building space, allowing a bustling, full-service Amtrak Station served by Cary transit; extension of the boarding platform
Station Improvement Burlington A 200-foot extension of the boarding platform to allow passengers to board more safely and quickly
Station Improvement High Point Stabilization of the slope above the tracks, addition of 27 parking spaces and landscaping improvements
Station Improvement Kannapolis Construction of a canopy to provide shelter and a safer boarding area for train passengers
Station Improvement Cary, Durham, Burlington Addition of passenger information display systems