WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Thom Tillis announced $3.5 million in grant funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to identify potential new rail routes or improvements across North Carolina, on Tuesday. The Corridor sponsors would enter Step 1 of the program to develop a scope, schedule, and cost estimate for preparing, completing, or documenting its service development plan.
“This $3.5 million in grant funding to identify and develop potential rail lines across North Carolina could be transformational in how North Carolinians travel,” said Senator Tillis. “I’m proud these investments were made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that I helped negotiate, write, and pass into law.”
The following corridors were awarded $500,000 for identification and development:
- Charlotte to Washington, DC Corridor
- The proposed Corridor would provide improvements to the existing state-supported Carolinian service between Charlotte, NC and Washington, DC (with existing service continuing north to New York, NY) by improving/adding services in Greensboro, Winston-Salem, High Point, Raleigh, Durham, Salisbury, and Burlington NC and Petersburg, Richmond, Fredericksburg and Alexandria, Virginia by addressing infrastructure capacity constraints. Improvements include constructing/rehabilitating a partially abandoned alignment between Raleigh, NC and Petersburg, VA that is more direct than the existing routing through Rocky Mount, NC, potentially shaving more than an hour off the end-to-end travel time.
- Charlotte to Atlanta, Georgia Corridor
- The proposed Corridor would provide new service on a new high speed rail alignment between Charlotte, NC and Atlanta, GA, with potential intermediate stops including Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport in South Carolina and Augusta and Athens, GA, then serving a downtown Atlanta station and terminating at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, the world’s busiest airport.
- Charlotte to Kings Mountain Corridor
- The proposed Corridor would connect Kings Mountain, North Carolina to Charlotte, North Carolina. The proposed Corridor would provide new service on existing alignment with capacity improvements west of the Charlotte Gateway Station and likely extending service to Kings Mountain, in addition to track, crossover, or signal improvements.
- Winston-Salem to Raleigh Corridor
- The proposed Corridor would connect Winston-Salem, NC with Raleigh, NC, with intermediate stops at Greensboro, Burlington, Durham, and Cary, complementing the existing state-supported Piedmont and Carolinian services. The proposed Corridor would also include new frequencies, improvements to reliability, and new stations.
- Fayetteville to Raleigh Corridor
- The proposed Corridor would provide a new service connecting Fayetteville, NC with Raleigh, NC, with intermediate stops at Lillington, and Fuquay-Varina, NC, using an existing alignment.
- Wilmington to Raleigh Corridor
- The proposed Corridor would connect Raleigh, NC to Wilmington, NC. The proposed Corridor would provide new service on an existing alignment, part of which has been abandoned and would need to be reconstructed, to include new stations.
- Asheville to Salisbury Corridor
- The proposed Corridor would provide new service on an existing alignment between Asheville and Salisbury in western North Carolina, following a line that last hosted passenger trains in 1975.