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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Patriot Rail to serve North Carolina DOT's P&N corridor


Yesterday, Patriot Rail Corp. announced it executed an agreement with the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) to provide rail service on the 13-mile Piedmont & Northern corridor in Gaston County. The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval and the execution of a final agreement, is expected to close during the next 45 to 60 days.

Built in 1911 as an electrified freight/commuter line and currently owned by NCDOT, the inactive corridor extends from Mount Holly to Gastonia, includes a spur towards Belmont, and connects with CSX Transportation in Mount Holly and Norfolk Southern Railway in Gastonia.

In May, NCDOT chose Patriot Rail as the preferred bidder from among five companies vying to become the corridor’s service provider.The holding company, which owns and operates six short lines and recently struck a deal to acquire Weyerhaeuser Co.’s six short lines, will be responsible for operating, maintaining and marketing rail service on the P&N line.

“We look forward to bringing in new rail customers, building the business and commencing operations,” said Patriot Rail Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Gary Marino in a prepared statement.

In late 2009, NCDOT upgraded four miles of the line from Gastonia to Ranlo. By spring 2011, the agency expects to upgrade the remainder.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 8/13/2010