NCRR partners with North Carolina’s economic development community and railroads on various initiatives to drive increased job creation, freight rail use and economic growth.

Build Ready Sites

North Carolina has a substantial amount of land available for development located along active railroad corridors.  The state offers multiple funding opportunities for development needs (e.g. infrastructure, building demo, etc.) when there is an active economic development client.  Often, companies are not able to wait on these improvements – thus having a ready site becomes a key differentiator between a community and its competitors when working to attract a new company.

The Build Ready Sites Program is a grant program aiming to assist in the development and marketing of rail sites in North Carolina. Applications to the program open every year in the summer with a total process timeline of 6 months. Program requirements can be found here.

NCRR Invests

Through NCRR Invests, we evaluate requests for investments to address the freight rail infrastructure needs of business and industry considering location or expansion in North Carolina.

Eligible rail-related investments include, but are not limited to:

  • Rights-of-way
  • Design/Engineering
  • Site grading & drainage for tracks
  • Lead, siding & other track construction
  • Railroad signals
  • Rail loading facilities

Download the NCRR Invests Summary.

NCRR is also committed to investing in freight rail infrastructure needs at the state’s rail-served megasites should a new or expanding rail-served industry choose to locate at the sites.

For more information please contact us at:

Search Available Rail-Served Sites, Buildings and Location Data


Freight Rail Opportunities In North Carolina

North Carolina’s freight rail network boasts more than 3,200 miles of railroad, owned by two Class I railroads and 19 short lines.

North American Market Access Through Class I Railroads:

Two Class I railroad companies, CSX and Norfolk Southern offer direct access to North America’s massive intercity rail network and together, operate three-fourths of N.C.’s track.

Port And Intermodal Access:

Both Norfolk Southern and CSX offer direct service to the major ports located along the eastern seaboard as well as intermodal container service for N.C. companies through their respective hubs in Charlotte (NS, CSX) and Greensboro (NS).

Regional Railroad Connections To Class I Railroads:

North Carolina is also home to 19 short lines, or regional railroads. Short line railroads offer rail shipping opportunities and large market connections to businesses and local producers without access to a Class I line by feeding traffic to and receiving traffic from the Class I railroads for final delivery. Short lines can provide essential service advantages for the “first and last mile” where it may sometimes be operationally challenging for a Class I provider.

Six of North Carolina’s regional railroads offer direct connections to both of the Class I rail service providers in N.C. (CSX and NS).

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