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North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) officials on Tuesday marked the completion of two railway modernization projects under the Piedmont Improvement Program.One project improved track along the North Carolina Railroad corridor between Graham and Haw River. The project included construction of a siding track to eliminate trains forming a bottleneck along a 22-mile stretch, according to an NCDOT press release."With this and other design improvements, we will be able to increase train speeds and reduce travel times on this corridor," said North Carolina Rail Director Paul Worley. The second project eliminated three street-level rail crossings by building a highway bridge to carry McLeansville Road over tracks in McLeansville. Prior to the project, three roads crossed over mainline and siding track in the area, with trains sometimes waiting in the siding for more than an hour.The Piedmont Improvement Program features projects that are designed to make train travel safer and more reliable, enhance opportunity for greater job growth and commercial development, and better connect the economic regions of Raleigh and Charlotte and the cities, towns and communities in between, according to NCDOT. The projects are largely funded through federal stimulus money.
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