Patriot Rail Corp. announced Thursday that it has executed a letter agreement with the North Carolina Department of Transportation to provide freight service on the Piedmont & Northern rail corridor in Gaston County.
The P&N corridor, which is around 20 miles west of Charlotte, is a 13-mile line from Mount Holly to Gastonia, with a spur toward Belmont. It interchanges with Norfolk Southern at Gastonia and CSX Transportation at Mount Holly.
The P&N was built in 1911 as an electrified interurban freight and commuter railroad by James B. Duke, founder of Duke Energy Co.
Under the agreement, Patriot will be responsible for operating, maintaining, and marketing freight rail service on the P&N. In 2009, NCDOT completed an upgrade of the westernmost four miles of the rail line and anticipates upgrading the remainder of the line by the spring of 2011.