The Passenger Rail Corridor Invest-ment Plan (PRCIP) is a study to improve intercity passenger rail service between the cities of Atlanta, GA and Charlotte, NC. This is part of a larger passenger rail initiative by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) that extends north to Washington, DC, commonly referred to as the Southeast High Speed Rail (SEHSR) Corridor.
The Norfolk Southern Railroad (NS) and CSX Transportation (CSXT) are the two major rail lines serving the tri-county area. These rail lines link the region to the rest of the nation. These railroads bring more than 500 trains through the Greater Charlotte region per week. As of 2013 NS is constructing a new intermodal facility at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport to significantly expand its intermodal capacity in the region, as well
as access interstates more easily. Railroads consider trucking firms as partners in providing logistics solutions and offer piggyback facilities, and this intermodal facility will greatly facilitate this partnership. Twenty-five freight railroad companies operate North Carolina’s 3,379-mile rail system. Two freight railroad companies operate over 70 percent of the state system via major/mainline routes and service the tri-county Metropolitan Planning Area. CSXT operates 34 percent of the system. CSXT’s east-west route connects Wilmington and Charlotte to Atlanta and New Orleans. NS operates 43 percent of North Carolina’s rail system. NS’ north-south route connects the Northeast and Midwest to Atlanta via Danville, Virginia; Greensboro; and Charlotte. 2,800 of the 3,300 miles of rail lines throughout North
Carolina are owned by private freight railroads. There are a total of 22 active freight railroad companies operating in North Carolina today: two active Class I railroads, 12 active short line railroads, and eight active shoreline railroads that specialize in switching and terminal services. In addition, there are two freight companies, the Red Springs and Northern Railroad and the Virginia and Southern Railroad that own track in North Carolina but are not currently operating in the state. NC and CSXT together provide 128 train trips per day, as of 2013, to the GCLMPO region. NS alone runs 78 trains a day on the line roughly paralleling I-85 from both the east and west. CSXT provides 39 train trips per day along the US 74 corridor. North-South trips roughly paralleling I-77 and east west along NC 24-27 are only 13 trips per day. This information was provided by NCDOT Rail Division in June 2013.