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Rail Industrial Access Program

The North Carolina Department of Transportation’s (NCDOT) Rail Industrial Access Program uses state funds to help construct or refurbish railroad spur tracks required by a new or expanding company. Program funding is intended to modernize railroad tracks to ensure effective and efficient freight deliveries.

Project funding is contingent upon a company’s receiving application approval prior to making a decision to locate or expand its facility in North Carolina. In addition, an award can be made only after confirmation of the availability of matching funds from private and/or local sources.

Local governments, community development agencies, railroads and companies themselves are eligible for funds to improve rail access. Approval depends on a variety of factors, including the number of potential new jobs that will be created, the amount of capital investment, rail use and local economic conditions.

Grant recipients may receive a maximum of 50% of total project costs, subject to a $200,000 limit per project. Program funding is an incentive to encourage companies to locate or expand in North Carolina versus another state. Projects considering in-state locations only or those not anticipated to yield a significant economic impact do not qualify for funding.

Eligible Use

Eligible project costs include:

  • Engineering and design
  • Site preparation, including grading and drainage
  • Track construction
  • Switches
  • Grade crossings and signals

Ineligible project costs include:

  • Relocation of utilities
  • Acquisition of right-of-way
  • Unloading facilities