North Carolina Eyes Buying Portion of CSX S Line

An expansive intercity rail passenger plan recently announced by Virginia may benefit passenger rail in North Carolina.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation is considering purchasing an unused railroad right of way between the Virginia border and Ridgeway, North Carolina.

The right of way would be used for a passenger high-speed rail route between Washington and Raleigh, North Carolina.

Now owned by CSX, the tracks in the former S-Line route were removed in the 1980s after CSX began favoring a parallel A-Line route via Rocky Mount, North Carolina.

Virginia plans to purchase the S-Line route when its borders south of Richmond.

Jason Orthner, NCDOT’s rail director, said the state has yet to determine how much it would cost to buy the S Line.

The remainder of the S Line between Ridgeway and Raleigh is in place but lightly used by CSX.

Amtrak trains, including the Carolinian, Silver Star, Silver Meteor, Auto Train, and Palmetto use the CSX A Line between Richmond and Selma, North Caroliona with the Carolinian and Silver Star operating via Raleigh.

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