Feds: $26.5 Million to Improve Reliability and Reduce Delays on North Carolina Passenger Trains

WASHINGTON – The feds have awarded $26.5 million to the North Carolina Department of Transportation to improve reliability and reduce delays on Amtrak service in eastern North Carolina.

The resulting improvements are centered in the area between Rocky Mount, N.C. and Petersburg, Va., and will improve service for both the Amtrak Carolinian line, which runs between New York City and Charlotte, N.C., and the Amtrak long distance trains that run between New York City and Florida, federal officials said.

“This project will not only bring jobs to the region, but will also reduce delays between New York, Washington, Raleigh, and Charlotte by eliminating existing choke points,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said. “Our new plan ensures both freight and passenger railroads can thrive while improving service, creating a win-win situation for everyone.”

The project includes installation of new track and ties, crossovers, and signals to alleviate rail congestion in this area and allow freight and passenger rail traffic to move more fluidly. These improvements will create more locations where freight and passenger trains can pass one another, federal officials contend.

The line connects with the future Southeast High Speed Rail Corridor in Petersburg and Raleigh, where trains will travel at 110 mph in the future.

“This project is a great example of rail carriers, governors, mayors, legislators, advocacy groups, and policy makers coming together to establish a clear vision for this multi-state corridor, and creating a plan to eliminate this bottleneck,” Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph C. Szabo said. “This investment will reduce trip times and delays, resulting in reduced congestion and making the region a better place to start a business and create jobs.”