The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) has announced that the state’s Piedmont Improvement Program (PIP), a project improving rail infrastructure between Charlotte and Raleigh, has been completed.
Over the last seven years, more than 40 comprehensive rail projects were accomplished, including:
- 13 new bridges over or under highways to prevent train/vehicle collisions;
- 27 miles of double track between Greensboro and Charlotte;
- nearly 40 street-level roadway crossings closed to improve safety;
- locomotives and railcars added for the Piedmont train service; and
- improvements to four train stations between Cary and Kannapolis.
“The Piedmont Improvement Program has put our state on the right path for the future by not only improving connectivity for passenger customers, but also serving as a catalyst for economic improvement through freight rail service, locally and nationally,” stated NCDOT Chief Deputy Secretary David Howard. “Additionally, modernization of the corridor allows for increased freight service along the line to better accommodate growing freight traffic while lightening the load on our state’s highways.”
The program also allows for the start of two new daily round trips on the Piedmont passenger line, with the first round trip targeted to begin in Spring 2018.
The Federal Railroad Administration awarded the state a $520 million grant for the project through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.