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After seven years of work, North Carolina has completed the Piedmont Improvement Program, an effort to improve freight- and passenger-rail service between Charlotte and Raleigh.The program was designed to improve the safety, efficiency and reliability of rail service. Over the course of the program, more than 40 rail projects were completed, the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) announced Wednesday.The projects included:• constructing 13 new bridges over or under highways to prevent train/vehicle collisions;• laying 27 miles of double track between Greensboro and Charlotte, making the route between both cities now double track;• closing nearly 40 street-level roadway crossings;• adding locomotives and rail cars for the Piedmont passenger-rail service; and• improvements to four train stations between Cary and Kannapolis."The Piedmont Improvement Program has put our state on the right path for the future by not only improving connectivity for passenger customers, but also serving as a catalyst for economic improvement through freight rail service, locally and nationally," said NCDOT Chief Deputy Secretary David Howard. Modernizing the corridor also allows for increased freight service, he added.Railroads involved in the Piedmont program included Amtrak, CSX, Norfolk Southern Railway and North Carolina Railroad Co.
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