North Carolina adopts Comprehensive State Rail Plan

The North Carolina Board of Transportation recently adopted the 2015 Comprehensive State Rail Plan, which supports delivery of Gov. Pat McCrory’s 25 Year Vision for the state and provides a framework for prioritizing rail projects based on need.

“As our state continues to grow, it is essential to our economy to ensure that our transportation system provides efficient alternatives to move people and goods, and connects North Carolina communities, businesses and industries with domestic and international markets,” Transportation Secretary Nick Tennyson said. “Transportation continues to change, and the Rail Plan is one tool that helps us transition from where we are to where we need to be.”

The plan outlines freight, safety and passenger projects for the immediate and long-term future. It includes rail initiatives to improve service to local industries, businesses and communities. The projects will serve to heighten the effectiveness and value of passenger and freight rail systems. This is important as these systems generate approximately $1.88 billion to the state’s economy from direct economic impacts every year.

“The Rail Plan identifies projects that will enhance rail capacity and safety along key corridors to better accommodate growing freight volumes and increased passenger service frequencies to meet demand,” Paul Worley, Rail Division director, said. “Near-term passenger initiatives such as the implementation of the Piedmont Improvement Program and the 4th and 5th Piedmont frequencies between Raleigh and Charlotte, planning for connecting bus services, and new and improved stations will help continue to build and accommodate increasing passenger ridership, while ensuring the railroads provide efficient freight access throughout our state.”
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