N.C. DOT awards short line railroad grants for infrastructure improvement

Written by David C. Lester, Editor-in-Chief
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David C. Lester

Short line railroads in North Carolina are about to get a financial shot in the arm for infrastructure improvements.

Twelve short line railroads and the North Carolina Ports Authority will soon be making improvements to their rail infrastructure thanks to approximately $10.2 million in matching grant funds being awarded as part of the N.C. Department of Transportation’s Freight Rail and Rail Crossing Safety Improvement program (FRRCSI).

FRRCSI supports rail infrastructure health, safety and performance throughout the state, enabling NCDOT to partner with rail companies on improvement projects to move freight more effectively. This partnership helps railroads meet customer needs efficiently and in cost-effective ways while preparing them for growing service demands and partnerships with new businesses and industries. 
The grant funds contribute to nearly $20.4 million (total including funds from those below) in rail infrastructure improvements statewide. Funds awarded are as follows:

Aberdeen and Rockfish $390,000 for a project to modernize rail bridges in Cumberland County

Alexander Railroad Company $750,000 for two projects to improve track, railroad crossings and expand truck/rail transload operations in Alexander County

Atlantic and Western Railway $430,000 for a project to upgrade track and switches in Lee County

Blue Ridge Southern Railroad $4,506,000 for four projects to upgrade track, railroad crossings and bridges in Haywood, Buncombe, Henderson and Jackson counties

Carolina Coastal Railway $2,196,000 for a project to increase low train speeds by improving bridges and track in Wake, Nash, Johnston, Wilson, Greene, Pitt, Beaufort, Washington and Martin counties

Chesapeake & Albemarle Railroad $1,865,000 for two projects to upgrade railroad track and improve bridges in Currituck and Camden counties, and construct a transload facility with upgraded turnouts in Pasquotank County

Great Smoky Mountains Railroad $1,922,000 for a project to upgrade railroad track and bridges, and raise the track bed to prevent washouts in Jackson and Swain counties

Laurinburg and Southern Railroad $1,000,000 to improve track and switches in Scotland County

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