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Rail News: Short Lines & Regionals

North Carolina Railroad corridor greatly impacts state's economy, study shows


The North Carolina Railroad Co. (NCRR) had an estimated impact of $794 million on the state's economy in 2013, according to a RTI International study released last month.

Without NCRR's 317-mile rail corridor between Charlotte and the Port of Morehead City, freight would be moved solely by other means at a greater cost, the study found. Due to cost savings provided by the corridor, North Carolina companies generate an estimated $499 million in additional revenue.

"The fact that our rail corridor is pumping more than three-quarters of a billion dollars a year in cost savings into our economy makes a dramatic statement about the value of the North Carolina Railroad and the value of the state’s entire rail system," said NCRR Chairman Duane Long in a press release.

A similar study conducted in 2007 determined that NCRR had an annual economic impact of $388 million — a 104 percent differential, railroad officials said.

"We are obviously pleased with the growth in the railroad’s activity and impact," said NCRR President Scott Saylor. "Many people and organizations working together led to this outcome, including Norfolk Southern, the North Carolina Department of Transportation and local officials along the corridor."

The study also found that the corridor accommodated 19 percent of the freight moving in and out of North Carolina even though the route amounts to less than 10 percent of the state’s trackage. In addition, RTI researchers determined that 347,000 containers and carloads originated or terminated on the corridor last year, totaling an estimated 11.4 million tons of cargo.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/6/2014