RALEIGH – Fourteen short line railroads, including one in Scotland County, will soon be making improvements to their infrastructure thanks to approximately $7 million in matching grant funds being awarded as part of the N.C. Department of Transportation’s Short Line Improvement Program.
“We look forward to seeing the positive impact these grant funds have on North Carolina’s short line rail infrastructure, which plays a key role in our economy,” said Julie White, NCDOT Deputy Secretary for Multimodal Transportation. “These improvements not only spur economic development, but also enhance the safety and reliability of rail operations across the state.”
The projects awarded funding include the Laurinburg & Southern, where a project will upgrade crossing surfaces at 12 locations and, in areas where hazardous material will be switched, upgrade 6,710 track feet and nine switches. The total cost of the project will be $900,000.
The Short Line Improvement Program supports short line rail infrastructure health and performance throughout the state, enabling NCDOT to partner with short line rail companies on rail improvement projects. This partnership helps the short lines meet customer needs in an efficient and cost-effective manner while also preparing them for growing service demands and partnerships with potential customers.
Another regional project receiving a grant was the RJ Corman Railroad, which will re-establish rail service to an industrial park near Whiteville. The cost for that project will be $600,000.
Since 2014, more than $28 million in matching Short Line Improvement Program funds have been provided toward 66 rail improvement projects.