Home Local News Virginia-North Carolina Interstate Rail Compact awarded federal funds

Virginia-North Carolina Interstate Rail Compact awarded federal funds

A Piedmont train pulls into the station at High Point. Photo by NCDOT

RALEIGH – North Carolina and Virginia have been awarded up to $200,000 in federal funds to continue their efforts to improve passenger and freight rail services in both states and the Southeast.

The funds were announced in late March by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration, which will be administered by the N.C. Department of Transportation on behalf of the Virginia-North Carolina Interstate Rail Compact.

Officials from both states plan to use the funds for planning and coordination related to multi-state intercity passenger rail projects and services including system and rail network planning and identifying potential improvements.

“We’re thrilled to receive this grant to continue advancing the rail system in North Carolina and the Southeast, “says Julie White, NCDOT’s deputy secretary for Multimodal Transportation. “This grant will enable us to identify opportunities to improve the fluidity of the network to benefit both passenger and freight rail.”

Virginia officials shared the sentiment.

“As we continue to transform rail in Virginia, we are proud to have a strong partner in North Carolina to help us accomplish our mission and vision of an integrated multimodal system throughout the Commonwealth and the entire Southeast,” said Jennifer DeBruhl, director of the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation and the chairperson of the Virginia Passenger Rail Authority.

NCDOT and the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation will work with members of the Southeast Corridor Commission on efforts to enhance the Southeast rail network. The Southeast Corridor Commission includes members from D.C., Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. It was formed in 2019 to develop a common vision to provide a high-performance rail network in the region.


The Virginia-North Carolina Interstate Rail Compact was created in 2004 through state legislation to promote a plan for the design, construction, financing, and operation of interstate rail service through Virginia, North Carolina, and adjacent states.

NCDOT and the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation provide staff assistance to the compact, whose members include state legislators from Virginia and North Carolina.

Compacts in Illinois and Louisiana were also awarded federal funds through the FRA’s Interstate Rail Compact Grants program. A total of $900,000 in funds were awarded to the three compacts.

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