A Look Back

Our Origin Story

The Railroad and The Corridor

The rail corridor is our state’s most unique and valuable asset, and we have proudly been at the forefront of rail improvements and partnership development since its inception.

Our story began in 1849 when the North Carolina legislature authorized an east-to-west railroad that would connect the coastal plain with the Piedmont and open the state for economic development. Thus the North Carolina Railroad was born. The North Carolina Railroad Company has since owned and managed the corridor that encases the railroad tracks, playing a key role in its expansion by investing in rail infrastructure and increasing freight rail capacity.

In 1989, the North Carolina Railroad merged with the Atlantic & North Carolina Railroad (A&NCRR), creating the rail corridor as we know it today: a 317-mile long conduit from Charlotte to the port of Morehead City, which not only impacts a quarter of the state’s economy but also connects to routes carrying freight and people throughout the eastern United States.

Explore a detailed timeline here.

Our Role

Driving Rail Development

Historically, our role has been ensuring that North Carolina’s rail infrastructure continues to meet the demands of business and industry looking to expand or locate in our state. As the oldest privately-run business corporation in the state, we’re able to work closely with government partners (at local, regional, and state level) and the economic development community to invest in opportunities that lead to growth. We proactively consult communities on rail solutions that can foster economic opportunity, particularly in rural regions.

And since NCRR is a private business corporation with one hundred percent of the stock owned by the state of North Carolina, we’re also able to invest a significant portion of our revenue back into the state.

  • $794 million: estimated annual impact on the North Carolina economy
  • $18+ million in NCRR Invests Program’s investments since its inception.
  • $8.3 million in grants awarded by the Build Ready Sites Program since its inception.

NCRR’s Impact On North Carolina

Source: Measuring The Economic Impact of the North Carolina Railroad in North Carolina

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