Grant to help North Carolina buy rail for high-speed service

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina will use a $47.5 million federal grant to purchase a rail line needed to advance planned high-speed passenger train service between Raleigh and Richmond, Virginia.

The money, announced on Friday by four North Carolina members of Congress, will let the state transportation department buy rail from CSX Corp. from Raleigh north to Warren County, near the Virginia line.

North Carolina and Virginia have been working on the high-speed plan for nearly 30 years, The News & Observer reported.

Last year, Virginia struck a deal to buy 65 miles (105 kilometers) of CSX rail corridor from the state line north to near Petersburg. CSX also agreed to allow the North Carolina Department of Transportation to purchase right-of-way in Warren County to the Virginia line.

Construction remains years away. The rail service envisioned would include passenger trains that could go 110 mph (177 kph) between Raleigh and Richmond.