September was a record-breaking month for the state’s intercity passenger rail service.

Over 48,000 passengers rode the Carolinian and Piedmont trains last month. That marks a 32 percent increase over the average pre-pandemic monthly ridership levels from 2014 to 2019.

Amtrak operates the lines as part of the NC By Train network, which runs between Raleigh and Charlotte, and also connects the two cities with New York. 

Governor Roy Cooper praised the high numbers and urged continued investment in passenger rail service.

North Carolina Department of Transportation Secretary Eric Boyette noted the trains are an affordable option for traveling across the Piedmont.

NC By Train offers special stops for events such as the Lexington Barbecue Festival and the North Carolina State Fair.

NCDOT is also planning future expansion along a rail corridor between Raleigh and Richmond, Virginia, which officials say will better connect local communities and shorten travel time to the Northeast.

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