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Monday, September 24, 2012    

USDOT awards funds to improve Amtrak, freight line in North Carolina

On Friday, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) awarded $26.5 million to the North Carolina Department of Transportation to improve reliability and reduce delays on lines impacting Amtrak service in eastern North Carolina.

The improvements are targeted at infrastructure between Rocky Mount, N.C., and Petersburg, Va., which will impact service for the Amtrak Carolinian line that operates New York City and Charlotte, N.C., as well as long distance trains that run between New York City and Florida.

The project will include installation of new track and ties, crossovers and signals to alleviate rail congestion in the area, and allow freight- and passenger-rail traffic to move more "fluidly," USDOT officials said in a prepared statement. The line connects with the future Southeast High Speed Rail Corridor in Petersburg and Raleigh, where trains are expected to travel at 110 mph in the future.

"This project will not only bring jobs to the region, but will also reduce delays between New York, Washington, Raleigh, and Charlotte by eliminating existing choke points," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

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