It’s been decades since Winston-Salem has had regular passenger rail service, but a new grant could be a step toward bringing it back. Federal money will be used to study the scope and cost of a corridor to connect with Greensboro.

U.S. Senator Thom Tillis announced this week $3.5 million in grants to identify potential new rail routes and improvements across North Carolina.

About $500,000 could go toward developing a Winston-Salem to Raleigh corridor. The proposed connection would include stops in Greensboro, Burlington, Durham, and Cary.

The study will examine how such a route could complement the existing Piedmont and Carolinian rail services.

The grant money is coming from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Triad riders could also benefit from improvements and additions to the Carolinian service from Charlotte to Washington, D.C. Proposals call for updated infrastructure and a revamped route that could cut an hour off the travel time. 

The state DOT says the Piedmont and Carolinian served nearly 450,000 riders in the first three quarters of 2023.

That was an increase of 23% over the same period in 2022.

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