The North Carolina Department of Transportation has awarded five Class II railroads in the state $2.1 million in matching grant funds through the Freight Rail & Rail Crossing Safety Improvement (FRRCSI) Program for infrastructure projects. The funding supplements $12 million in FRRCSI grants to 12 short lines announced in December 2022.
The grants will be matched with railroad-provided funds to contribute approximately $4.2 million in rail infrastructure improvements. Together, these projects will support improvements to 78.2 miles of right-of-way in North Carolina:
- Aberdeen Carolina & Western Railway Company: $479,600 for drainage system improvements on the Piedmont Division in Montgomery County.
- Alexander Railroad Company: $356,000 for rail improvements on its main line in Iredell County.
- Carolina Coastal Railway (Regional Rail, LLC): $525,000 for bridge improvements and track upgrades along the main line and Nash County corridors in Beaufort, Greene, Johnston, Martin, Nash, Pitt, Wake, Warren, Washington, and Wilson Counties.
- Chesapeake & Albemarle Railroad (Genesee & Wyoming): $561,248 for rail improvements, track upgrades and improvements to a siding along its main line in Pasquotank, Chowan and Camden Counties.
- Charlotte Western Railroad (Jaguar Transport Holdings, leased from NCDOT): $174,250 for track upgrades along its main line in Gaston County.
FRRCSI, established in 2013 by the North Carolina General Assembly, “supports rail infrastructure improvements throughout the state, enabling NCDOT to partner with rail companies on improvement projects to effectively move freight,” the agency said. “This partnership helps railroads efficiently meet customer needs in cost-effective ways, while preparing them for growing service demands and partnerships with new businesses and industries.”