Perdue: High-speed rail to provide jobs

February 16, 2010 9:51:56 PM PST
Gov. Bev Perdue announced Tuesday that the federal high-speed rail grant will create or maintain as many as 4,800 private sector jobs in North Carolina over the next four years. She says 1,000 of those jobs are expected this year alone as ready-to-go projects get under way.

The jobs will come from more than 30 projects in 11 North Carolina counties.

The projects are being funded with the $545 million the state received through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) for further development of the Southeast High Speed Rail (SEHSR) Corridor and the state's intercity passenger rail program.

The projects include purchasing and rebuilding locomotives and passenger cars, improving stations, building passing sidings and double tracks between Greensboro and Charlotte as well as closing highway-railroad crossings, upgrading private crossings and constructing new highway bridges.

The projects are located in Alamance, Cabarrus, Davidson, Durham, Guilford, Halifax, Mecklenburg, Nash, Northhampton, Rowan and Wake counties and range from $340,000 in Cabarrus County for station improvements to more than $129 million in Mecklenburg County to begin modernizing the rail network. Several projects will begin in the next few months.

Since the U.S. Department of Transportation designated Charlotte to Washington, D.C. as a high-speed rail corridor in 1992, NCDOT has invested more than $300 million in the state's intercity passenger rail service for renovation and construction of train stations, track improvements and corridor preservation projects in order to pave the way for high-speed service.

North Carolina partners with Amtrak and currently provides daily service to 16 North Carolina cities and to destinations along the East Coast.

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