Transportation
7:17 am
Tue October 1, 2013

NCDOT Strikes Deal With Amtrak For Another Year

An Amtrak train arrives in Greensboro
An Amtrak train arrives in Greensboro
Credit Mark Hogan / Flickr Creative Commons

North Carolina has extended its contract with Amtrak for another year. 

The deal was closed on Friday and avoids a service shutdown as the old contract expires Tuesday.  The state pays for the Piedmont train, which runs between Charlotte and Raleigh, and the Carolinian, which runs from Charlotte to New York.  Federal law requires 19 states to enter a cost-sharing deal for interstate routes. 

Rail division director Paul Worley says the state was trying to work out a fair price.

"Some states were not paying at all.  North Carolina has been a paying customer since we initiated our services in 1990 with the Carolinian and 1995 with the Piedmont, so it was not that much of a change for us," Worley says.

He says the state revisits terms of the contract every year as expenses change.

"We're going to continue to engage with Amtrak to monitor and look at these costs, and also look at whatever options are available for NCDOT to make the service more effective and efficient, dollar-wise."

The deal is worth $6.4 million over the next year.  North Carolina reported $21.8 million in rail revenue in the last fiscal year.