August 22, 2018
Protecting an Asset, Collaborating with Communities
CATS Blue Line Extension in NCRR corridor.

The 317-mile North Carolina Railroad Corridor is unlike any other infrastructure asset in the state. With 634 miles of neighbors on each side, the corridor runs through four of the state’s largest cities, thriving downtown areas, rural communities and growing industrial areas. It’s a key route for freight and passenger rail service, connecting to two Class I freight rail networks, short lines, multiple passenger lines, and the entire east coast rail network.

Many of North Carolina’s large cities and small towns were formed as a result of the railroad running through that part of the state, bringing jobs to the area. Nearly 170 years later, the population growth and urban development many North Carolina communities are experiencing often puts pressure on the railroad corridor. Through our Real Estate and Corridor Management Departments, we collaborate with the 40 municipalities that the track touches, ensuring that they can plan for growth, while preserving the 200-foot-wide freight rail corridor boundaries to accommodate increased rail capacity needs.

Cary fencing.
Cary’s Lazy Daze began more than 40 years ago as a one-day arts and crafts fair. Since then, the downtown event has grown into a two-day festival that boasts 300 artists, musical acts and exhibits. The festival has expanded its footprint over the years, intersecting with the North Carolina Railroad Line that runs through the downtown festival area. In recent years, the Company has worked with the Town of Cary and the event planners to address pedestrian concerns raised by a large crowd. (pictured: Lyman Collins, City of Cary Cultural Arts Director)
CATS Blue Line Extension in NCRR corridor.
The City of Charlotte and Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) recently celebrated the opening of the Lynx Blue Line Extension, adding 9.3 miles to the existing light rail service, ultimately connecting UNC Charlotte. As the City of Charlotte and its partners planned this transit expansion, the North Carolina Railroad Company collaborated with them to accommodate the Blue Line Extension route, allowing the light rail extension to operate within the corridor for three miles, while ensuring there is adequate space remaining within the NCRR corridor to address future freight rail needs in a part of the city that will continue to grow.

The North Carolina Railroad: Collaborating with Communities and Spurring Economic Growth

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