NCDOT Rail Industrial Access Program

This program uses state funds to assist in constructing or refurbishing railroad spur tracks required by a new or expanding industry to encourage economic development.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation’s (NCDOT) Rail Industrial Access Program uses state funds to help construct or refurbish railroad spur tracks required by a new or expanding company. Program funding is intended to modernize railroad tracks to ensure effective and efficient freight deliveries. 

Project funding is contingent upon a company’s receiving application approval prior to making a decision to locate or expand its facility in North Carolina. In addition, an award can be made only after confirmation of the availability of matching funds from private and/or local sources. 

Local governments, community development agencies, railroads and companies themselves are eligible for funds to improve rail access. Approval depends on a variety of factors, including the number of potential new jobs that will be created, the amount of capital investment, rail use and local economic conditions. 

Grant recipients may receive a maximum of 50% of total project costs, subject to a $200,000 limit per project. Program funding is an incentive to encourage companies to locate or expand in North Carolina versus another state. Projects considering in-state locations only or those not anticipated to yield a significant economic impact do not qualify for funding. 

The Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina does not award or administer this incentive. All economic development incentives are awarded and administered by the North Carolina Department of Commerce. 

  • Eligible Use for Rail Industrial Access Program

    Funds may be used for: 

    • Highway projects 
    • Aviation projects at publicly owned airports 
    • Rail or marine public access projects 
  • Basic Requirements for Eligibility for the Rail Industrial Access Program

    The NCDOT’s Rail Division evaluates each application and makes recommendations for funding to the NC Board of Transportation. The Board determines the amount of funds that will be awarded. While project applications are accepted on a rolling basis, the NCDOT must receive a completed application by the first of the month, in order for a project to be considered for Board approval the following month. For a complete list of policies and procedures, please visit the NCDOT’s Rail Industrial Access Program website. 

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Lena Hobbs-Brown

Lena Hobbs-Brown

Business Development Associate