Safety improvements on a dozen short line railroads, including several on the coast, are to be funded in part through a North Carolina Department of Transportation program.
About $10.2 million in matching grant funds have been awarded to 12 short line railroads and the North Carolina Ports Authority as part of NCDOT’s Freight Rail and Rail Crossing Safety Improvement program.
The safety improvement plan 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, according to the state. The Freight Rail and Rail Crossing Safety Improvement Program was established in 2013 by the state General Assembly.
The following projects on the coast have been awarded:
- North Carolina and Virginia Railroad $747,000 for upgrades to siding tracks in Bertie and Northampton counties.
- Carolina Coastal Railway $2.19 million 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 $1.86 million 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.
- Wilmington Terminal Railroad $1.19 million to upgrade track in New Hanover County.
- North Carolina State Ports Authority $1.41 million for two projects to provide rail upgrades and install radiation scanners necessary for transporting intermodal containers via rail at the Port of Wilmington in New Hanover County.
Funding awarded across the state:
- 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 $4.50 million for four projects to upgrade track, railroad crossings and bridges in Haywood, Buncombe, Henderson and Jackson counties.
- Great Smoky Mountains Railroad $1.92 million 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 million to improve track and switches in Scotland County.
- RJ Corman Railroad Company $2.48 million to upgrade crossings and track in Columbus County and Horry County, South Carolina.
- Yadkin Valley Railroad $1.5 million to upgrade track, switches and bridges in Forsyth, Stokes, Surry and Wilkes counties.