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Rail News: Short Lines & Regionals

NCDOT OKs lease with Iowa Pacific for Piedmont & Northern line


The North Carolina Department of Transportation's (NCDOT) board late last week approved the lease agreement with Iowa Pacific Holdings LLC and its subsidiary Piedmont Railway to operate the state-owned Piedmont & Northern railroad in Gaston County.

Under the lease terms, Piedmont Railway will operate, maintain and market freight service on the 13-mile rail line that serves Mount Holly, Belmont, Ranlo, Lowell and Gastonia in Gaston County. Also, there may be an opportunity for the railroad to provide passenger-rail service, NCDOT officials said in a press release.

Last month, the two parties reached a lease agreement in principle. Located about 20 miles west of Charlotte, N.C., the corridor features a short branch line running toward Belmont.

The line also features interchange points with Norfolk Southern Railway in Gastonia and CSX Transportation in Mount Holly.

Piedmont Railway was chosen after a competitive bid process. The rail line has been operational and under lease to Patriot Rail Co. LLC since November 2010.

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More News from 5/11/2015