News Releases

4/22/2015: NCDOT and Iowa Pacific Holdings Agree in Principle to an Operation Agreement for Piedmont and Northern Railway Line in Gaston County

NCDOT and Iowa Pacific Holdings Agree in Principle to an Operation Agreement for Piedmont and Northern Railway Line in Gaston County

Posted 4/22/2015 9:29:01 AM

RALEIGH – After a competitive solicitation for proposals to operate the state-owned Piedmont & Northern railroad line between Gastonia and Mt. Holly, the N.C. Department of Transportation has selected Piedmont Railway, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Iowa Pacific Holdings, LLC, as the best candidate to operate the rail line.   NCDOT and Iowa Pacific Holdings/Piedmont Railway have now agreed in principle to a lease agreement for rail service on NCDOT’s Piedmont & Northern (P&N) rail corridor in Gaston County.  Execution of the agreement is dependent on NCDOT board approval at its May 7 meeting.  Under the terms of the agreement, Iowa Pacific’s Piedmont Railway subsidiary will operate, maintain and market freight service on the line.  In addition, the railroad will have the opportunity to provide passenger rail services including excursion, tourist, dinner trains and holiday season trains. Located about 20 miles west of Charlotte, the P&N 13-mile corridor extends from Mount Holly to Gastonia with a short branch line towards Belmont.  The rail line has strategic interchanges with Class I railroads Norfolk Southern at Gastonia and CSX Transportation at Mount Holly.  “The Rail Division has worked very closely with Gaston County to select the best operator for this line”, said NCDOT Rail Director Paul Worley. “We look forward to this opportunity to improve freight service along the railroad to support new and existing economic development and job creation opportunities.” The P&N rail corridor was built in 1911, and its owner CSX proposed it for abandonment in the late 1980’s along with a number of other corridors in North Carolina.  NCDOT purchased the P&N right-of-way and track materials, along with several other rail corridors, to preserve for future transportation purposes. The rail line has been operational and under lease to Patriot Rail since November 2010.  NCDOT and Iowa Pacific will work closely with the Gaston County Board of Commissioners and the Gaston County Economic Development Commission to build on the customer base.  There are presently two customers on the rail line.   Tracy Philbeck, Chairman of the Gaston County Board of Commissioners, offered, “This is an exciting time in Gaston County and I am happy to welcome Iowa Pacific Holdings/Piedmont Railway, LLC as the operator for the P&N Rail Line. Vice Chairman Joe Carpenter and I have enjoyed working with the NCDOT Rail Division on this venture and I believe this partnership could have a positive impact on economic development and travel and tourism opportunities in Gaston County.” Iowa Pacific Holdings’ management team is led by Ed Ellis, its founder and president.  Ellis said “We are genuinely excited by this opportunity, and we are looking forward to working with NCDOT, Gaston County, the Economic Development Commission, and local companies to transition P&N into a vital component of the Gaston County economic landscape.” **NCDOT**
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4/8/2015: NCDOT Makes Improvements to Camden County Rail Crossings

NCDOT Makes Improvements to Camden County Rail Crossings

Posted 4/8/2015 4:04:25 PM

RALEIGH – The N.C. Department of Transportation’s Rail Division has made crossing safety improvements at two intersections in Camden County.  NCDOT installed railway-highway grade crossing signals, cantilevers and gates at the intersection of U.S. Highway 158/ N.C. 34 and Chesapeake and Albemarle Railroad tracks near Camden.  This project totaled $301, 062 and was paid for with state funds. Maintenance funding for the projects will be divided equally between the state and CA Railroad. Six freight trains a day travel through this railroad crossing at a maximum of 35 miles per hour. NCDOT also installed railway-highway grade crossing signals, cantilevers and gates at the intersection of U.S. Highway 158 at CA Railroad tracks in Belcross. This project totaled $293,685 and was paid for with state funds. Maintenance funding for the projects will be divided equally between the state and CA Railroad. Two freight trains a day travel through this railroad crossing at a maximum of 25 miles per hour. These projects are a part of a comprehensive statewide NCDOT program to enhance highway safety by adding or improving signals and gates at public railroad crossings. Automatic warning devices are now in place at more than 2,600 of the 3,800 public at-grade crossings across the state. **NCDOT**
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4/2/2015: NCDOT Releases April Rail Report

NCDOT Releases April Rail Report

Posted 4/2/2015 2:03:38 PM

RALEIGH- Check out the April Rail Report, featuring stories on: ·         Halifax County Amtrak Crash·         Safety Tips from the USDOT Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration·         2015 Freight Rail and Rail Crossing Safety Improvement Program Funding·         Andrews to Murphy Rail Reactivation Study Public Meeting·         Atlantic & Western Railway Improvements·         Raleigh Union Station·         NC Train Host Annual Meeting·         Piedmont Improvement Program Read the Rail Report here:Attachment   **NCDOT**
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3/16/2015: NCDOT Celebrates Arrival of Raleigh’s First Train 175 Years Ago This Week

NCDOT Celebrates Arrival of Raleigh’s First Train 175 Years Ago This Week

Posted 3/16/2015 1:35:20 PM

RALEIGH - Nearly two centuries ago, Raleigh was a very different place. The year was 1840. The state’s capital – now a bustling metropolis of shopping, restaurants and businesses – was a destination largely isolated from the rest of the state, separated by long journeys over unpaved roads and a lack of a navigable river for trade and transport.    This all changed on March 21, 175 years ago this week, when the first train chugged into town – a wood-burning steam locomotive christened the “Tornado” traveling on newly built wooden rails. With the arrival of the Raleigh and Gaston Railroad, a predecessor of what is today CSX Transportation, Raleigh was now connected to places like Richmond, Virginia that had once taken two days by horse or stage coach to reach. Overnight, Raleigh’s new rail connection began the transformation from a small town seat of state government to a fast-growing commercial, industrial and education center. Just as it did almost 200 years ago, the Raleigh and Gaston route today remains a key rail corridor. CSXT, which has grown to become one of the largest transportation companies in the United States, continues to provide daily freight service over the line, which serves as the origination and termination point of millions of dollars in products annually. The corridor is also designated as the primary path for the future Southeast High Speed Rail Corridor between Raleigh and Virginia. “The introduction of the railroad revolutionized travel and freight movement throughout our state and the nation,” said N.C. Department of Transportation Secretary Tony Tata. “Nearly two centuries later, rail continues to play an important role in North Carolina’s multimodal transportation system, as well as supporting job creation, economic development and commerce activities that are critical to the future vitality of our state.” “Railroads have played a significant role in the development of the United States, probably more than any other enterprise,” said Cindy Sanborn, executive vice president-operations for CSXT. “From their earliest development of routes from eastern ports to inland settlements, railroads today are safe, reliable and fuel efficient conveyors of freight that drive North American commerce. CSX is proud to participate in acknowledging the first train to the great city of Raleigh and to have played a role in the city’s growth and prosperity.” “Railroads have historically played an important role in the growth and development of the City of Raleigh,” said City of Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane. Rail has been a cornerstone of our infrastructure and has helped support the economic vitality of the region.  As the city looks to the future, rail will remain part of the city’s foundation for a multi-modal transportation network.” The N.C. Department of Transportation invites all North Carolinians to celebrate this special anniversary by riding the Piedmont and Carolinian trains at a reduced fare. Just book at the following Amtrak.com page for 30% off the purchase of a companion ticket when you purchase one full-price ticket on Saturday, March 21. NCDOT also invites the public to come by the Raleigh station for birthday cake and punch. ***NCDOT***
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3/10/2015: Webb Road in Rowan County to Temporarily Close for Roadway Construction

Webb Road in Rowan County to Temporarily Close for Roadway Construction

Posted 3/10/2015 2:11:54 PM

WINSTON-SALEM — Weather permitting, N.C. Department of Transportation will install a temporary railroad crossing on Webb Road south of Salisbury starting Monday morning. Workers will temporarily close a portion of Webb Road near the US-29 and South Main Street intersection starting at 9 a.m. The road is expected to remain closed until the work is complete, reopening no later than 5 p.m. on Tuesday, May. 5. The construction is a part of the Piedmont Improvement Program, which is NCDOT's largest and most significant rail program encompassing a series of projects along the North Carolina Railroad Corridor. During the closure, motorists should use the 3.7 mile signed detour route along Webb Road, I-85 North, Peeler Road and South Main Street. NCDOT reminds motorists to watch signs for information, stay alert and obey the posted speed limit. For real-time travel information at any time, call 511, visit the Traveler Services section of the NCDOT website or follow NCDOT on Twitter. You can also access NCDOT Mobile, a version of the NCDOT website especially for mobile devices. Visit m.ncdot.gov from your mobile browser.**NCDOT**
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Salisbury to Kannapolis Railroad Improvements
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