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Rail News: Short Lines & Regionals

Patriot Rail operates first train on NCDOT's P&N corridor


For the first time in more than 20 years, a train has traversed the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s (NCDOT) Piedmont & Northern Railroad (P&N) corridor from Gastonia to Mount Holly. Yesterday, a train operated by Patriot Rail Corp. used the route, marking the milestone event, NCDOT officials said in a prepared statement.

After a joint track inspection by representatives of NCDOT and Patriot Rail — which retains a lease to operate trains on the line — the corridor recently was turned over to Patriot Rail for future inspection, maintenance, marketing and operating functions. Patriot Rail, which owns 13 regionals and short lines, will operate the line as the Piedmont & Northern Railway.

Under terms of the lease, Patriot Rail also will provide property rental, revenue sharing and return-on-upgrade-investment payments to NCDOT.  Patriot Rail has secured one customer on the line and is holding discussions with several other shippers about locating along the corridor.
The operation of the first train on the P&N route follows a number of track upgrades, new track construction, bridge repairs and grade crossing improvements that were funded by federal, state and local sources, NCDOT officials said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 2/21/2012