Piedmont & Northern opens for business

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Patriot Rail’s Piedmont & Northern Railway operated light locomotives across its 11-mile route today, the first time the line has seen a train in more than two decades. Revenue shipments will begin soon from a transload operation, and the railroad is working to add more new customers.
The original P&N was a CSX predecessor, and the Gastonia-Mount Holly rail corridor was part of its network. The state acquired the line following closure to prevent abandonment, and has upgraded track, bridges, and crossing protection. Patriot is operating the line under contract for the state department of transportation.
Jim Harris, the department’s state rail coordination engineer, told TRAINS News Wire the first customer will likely be a company called Reload, located at Renlo, N.C. The railroad will be able to ship its cars westward to interchange with Norfolk Southern at Gastonia or eastward to CSX at Mount Holly.
Harris said today’s train ran to mark the line’s reopening, and to clearly let communities know the line is again a going concern.
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