NC officials say agreement brings railroad grant


    RALEIGH, NC (AP) — North Carolina transportation officials say they’ve reached an agreement that will allow them to obtain $461 million in federal grants to improve train service.

    The News & Observer of Raleigh reported the agreement will allow faster and more frequent passenger service between Charlotte and Raleigh.

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    State transportation secretary Gene Conti says the agency will seek bids for contracts for tracks, bridges and trains.

    Officials say the new service would cut travel time from Charlotte to Raleigh to less than three hours, even with seven stops along the way.

    The project is expected to create nearly 5,000 jobs.

    North Carolina had to obtain an agreement with Norfolk Southern Railway to qualify for the grants. The Federal Railroad Administration had been concerned that slower freight trains might hamper the new service.

    Information from: The News & Observer,

    (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)