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Rail deal clears way for fast Charlotte passenger train

(The following appeared on the Charlotte Observer website on March 22, 2011.)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — After months of wrangling with a reluctant Norfolk Southern railroad, the N.C. Department of Transportation says it has won the agreement it needed to secure $461 million in federal grants that will put faster, more frequent and more reliable passenger trains on the tracks between Charlotte and Raleigh.

Gene Conti, the state transportation secretary, said N.C. DOT will start seeking bids over the next two weeks for contracts to lay tracks, build bridges and buy trains.

The construction is expected to create 4,800 jobs over the next two years and cut the train time from Raleigh to Charlotte below three hours, including seven stops on the way.

The full story appears on the Charlotte Observer website.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

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