RTA Strategic Goal: Develop an effective, resilient network for both freight and intercity passenger rail 

Our existing freight rail infrastructure — operated by the Class I railroads and a series of short lines and regional railroads — are the backbone of intercity commerce and freight movements in the United States and complement freight operations on the nation’s highway network. Passenger rail utilizes portions of this track and provides intercity service through shared freight-passenger rail operations.

In North Carolina, several of our largest cities and towns, including Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro, Durham, and Cary, are directly served by the North Carolina Railroad Company, a private company owned by the State. A series of intercity passenger trains operate daily between Raleigh and Charlotte along the NC Railroad corridor, with some continuing south to Florida and north to New York along CSX trackage.  More than $500 million in new federal funds are currently being applied to the entire Charlotte to Raleigh corridor to improve reliability for passenger service. Existing and expanding freight operations will also benefit from the capacity improvements.

RTA Freight and Intercity Rail Priorities

Support the CCX project in Rocky Mount and other opportunities to strengthen freight

  • RTA expressed support in May 2016 for a regional freight hub in the eastern Triangle to better connect our region to national and global markets, help relieve our regional freeway system, and spur economic development in eastern Northern Carolina.

Advance the Raleigh-Petersburg-Richmond higher speed rail corridor via CSX S-line

  • RTA supports the timely completion of environmental studies for proposed new intercity passenger rail between Raleigh, Petersburg, and Richmond, Virginia, and the staged implementation of higher speed rail and high performance rail along the corridor, including linkages to Northern Virginia, Washington, DC, the Northeast Corridor (NEC), and the Hampton Roads area.

Push metro express intercity rail service between Raleigh and Charlotte that improves trip times and reliability

  • RTA supports the NCDOT Piedmont Improvement Program which will increase the frequency of passenger trips and improve safety and the flow of vehicle and rail traffic along the corridor.
  • RTA also supports the completion of the Raleigh Union Station which will serve as Raleigh’s new Amtrak station and home to future regional commuter rail service.