The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) will help fund the cost of constructing rail tracks required to serve a new or expanding business as part of a statewide effort to attract new industry to North Carolina. The purpose of the program is to provide an incentive for companies to locate or expand in North Carolina rather than out of state. Funds should be applied for early, prior to making a location decision.
Local governments, community development organizations, railroad companies industries are eligible for this program.
Funds may be used to construct or rehabilitate railroad spur or siding tracks.
Allocation of Funds
Recipients may receive a maximum 50 percent of total project costs up to $200,000 (current maximum - subject to change).
Responsibility for Project Tracks
The grant recipient (or industry) shall be responsible for ownership and assume maintenance and liability for the project tracks.
The Rail Industrial Access Program is administered by the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT). The Rail Division of NCDOT reviews applications and makes funding recommendations to the North Carolina Board of Transportation (NCBOT).
Applications for Rail Industrial Access funds are completed through the Rail Division Grants Management System and require a User ID and Password to access. Please fill out the Rail Division System Access Authorization form and return to Rail Security Coordinator Brian Gackstetter.
The railroad company owning the main tracks to which a spur track is connected must agree to serve the industry and approve the track construction plans. A Railroad Acceptance Form can be found on the Rail Resources site.
The industry shall commit to a specific number of new jobs and to a specific level of rail usage during the first five years of operation. An Industry Commitment Form can be found on the Rail Resources site.
When project tracks are located in a municipality where the NCDOT has a Transportation Safety Plan, the industry shall accommodate it in their project planning.
County and City Resolution
The project shall be consistent with local land use and transportation plans. The county and city shall provide a resolution supporting the project. A Resolution Support template can be found on the Rail Resources site.
NCDOT Railroad Safety Pledge
The industry, Economic Development Commission (EDC) and local governments shall pledge to work with the NCDOT in a leadership role to make highway-rail improvements that address the safety needs of the public, contractors and employees. Forms for Industry Safety and EDC safety can be found on the Rail Resources site.
Property Easement Certification
The applicant shall certify that it has obtained all property easements necessary to allow access to the rail spur construction site and permit rail freight operations. A Property Easement Certification form can be found on the Rail Resources site.
Project Purchases and Cost Reimbursements
Project purchases are to be competitive and contracts must be awarded to the low bidder. All procurements are to be conducted in accordance with N.C. General Statute 143-129 or 143-131 (formal or informal). Please refer to the Bid Procurement Requirements document for more detail. To receive reimbursement the grantee must submit a payment invoice after the project is completed and after the track is in revenue service.
|State Funding||Bidding Requirement|
|>$30,000||Materials or construction contracts – Informal|
|>$90,000||Materials - Formal|
|>$500,000||Construction - Formal|
Professional Services Procurement
Requirements for professional services must be publicly announced and chosen from licensed consultants based on qualifications.
- For five years following project completion, the grantee shall report rail use and employment to the Department.
- Grantees that are private or nonprofit must report project activities and project expenditures annually (electronically) to the N.C. Office of Budget and Management.
- An NCID (user ID and password) is required to access the grants system.
The grantee may be required to repay the NCDOT its contribution to the cost of construction and materials less depreciation if:
- Rail use in the first five years falls below the commitment levels indicated in the application.
- The project tracks are abandoned, relocated or sold.
- Employment commitments in the first two years are not met.
Project Selection Criteria
The following is required for NCDOT funding consideration:
- Project application
- County/city support resolution
- Industry commitment certification
- Railroad commitment certification
- Property easement certification
- Industry safety Pledge
The NCDOT will use the following criteria and point system when evaluating rail industrial access applications:
|Employment in the first two years of operations|
|50-99 employees||4 points|
|100-199 employees||8 points|
|200-299 employees||12 points|
|300+ employees||16 points|
|Capital investment in the first two years of operations|
|$5 million to 14 million||2 points|
|$15 million to 24 million||4 points|
|$25 million to 34 million||6 points|
|$35 million +||8 points|
|Annual rail carloads|
|Distressed County or Appalachian Regional Commission eligible|
Points are awarded based on economic benefits. A minimum score of 8 points is required for project funding.
|The percent of total project costs funded is based on the total points scored as follows:|
|8 -15 points||35%|
|Less than 8 points||Ineligible|