Short line railroad grants awarded


GSMR among recipients


Seventeen short line railroads will soon be making improvements to their infrastructure thanks to approximately $16.7 million in matching grant funds being awarded as part of the N.C. Department of Transportation’s Freight Rail and Rail Crossing Safety Improvement program (FRRCSI).

Great Smoky Mountains Railroad is slated to receive a grant totaling $1.7 million. The project will upgrade rail, install new crossties, provide ballast and tamping, improve bridges and provide ultrasonic testing and bridge inspections in Jackson, Graham, Macon and Swain counties.

FRRCSI supports rail infrastructure health, safety and performance throughout the state, enabling NCDOT to partner with rail companies on improvement projects. This partnership helps railroads meet customer needs in an efficient and cost-effective manner while also preparing them for growing service demands and partnerships with new businesses and industries across the state.

The projects will provide more than $32 million in rail infrastructure improvements statewide.

Also receiving the grant in Western North Carolina is Blue Ridge Southern Railroad with the following projects:

• improvements and modernization along the Canton and Skyland subdivisions in Buncombe and Haywood counties.

• complete a second phase of slope stabilization and improvements to the Balsam Mountain slope in the Canton subdivision in Jackson County.

• upgrade turnouts in the Canton yard in Haywood County.

• upgrade an eight-track grade crossing and install new rail in the Canton subdivision in Haywood County.