Wilmington, N.C., plans studies for possible $1 billion relocation of CSX line

Movement of freight route would create possibility of light rail service
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WILMINGTON, N.C. — The City of Wilmington is seeking consultants to conduct preliminary engineering, environmental, and historic preservation studies for a plan to relocate CSX rail lines across the Cape Fear River from the city and turn the existing rail line into a light rail route.

The Port City Daily reports the city council will vote Tuesday on accepting $2.5 million in state and federal grants to fund the studies, required as the first stage of what could be a billion-dollar project.

The key to the project will be finding another route for bringing the CSX line into the Port of Wilmington in place of its current loop around the city, which could require a new rail bridge. The current line features moveable bridges where trains face a 10-mph speed limit, as well a 5-mph curve at the eastern edge of the loop around the city. The newspaper reports that CSX is now indicating support for the project after previously being “standoffish.”

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