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The North Carolina Department of Transportation received a nearly $77 million grant to upgrade its fleet of passenger rail cars.

The Federal Railroad Administration has awarded the department’s Rail Division with a $76.8 million grant as part of the Federal-State Partnership for State of Good Repair Program.

The grant will support the purchase of a fleet of new coaches to phase out the oldest cars in the Piedmont passenger service fleet and allow for more frequent service options in the future. Currently, six Piedmont trains operate daily between Raleigh and Charlotte, with seven additional stations in cities and towns along the way.

“With the support of our Federal partners, we will be able to modernize our passenger fleet,” said NCDOT Secretary Jim Trogdon. “Communities between Charlotte and Raleigh that are connected by passenger rail will benefit from this enhancement.”

The project also includes the construction of additional improvements to the Locomotive and Railcar Maintenance Facility in Charlotte that supports the Piedmont service. Detailed planning and engineering will begin once a contract agreement has been signed with the Federal Railroad Administration.

With this award, the department’s Rail Division has received nearly $143 million since 2018 in competitive federal grant funding to support freight, safety and passenger rail programs.

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