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Policies and Procedures


The N.C. Department of Transportation will help fund the cost of constructing rail tracks required to serve a new or expanding business as part of a statewide effort to attract new industry to North Carolina. The purpose of the program is to provide an incentive for companies to locate or expand in North Carolina rather than out of state. Funds should be applied for early, prior to making a location decision.

Eligible Recipients

Local governments, community development organizations, railroad companies and industries are eligible for this program.

Eligible Projects

Funds may be used to construct or rehabilitate railroad spur or siding tracks.

Allocation of Funds

Recipients may receive a maximum 50 percent of total project costs up to $200,000 (current maximum - subject to change).

Responsibility for Project Tracks

The grant recipient (or industry) shall be responsible for ownership and assume maintenance and liability for the project tracks.


The Rail Industrial Access Program is administered by the N.C. Department of Transportation. The Rail Division of NCDOT reviews applications and makes funding recommendations to the N.C. Board of Transportation.


Applications for the Rail Industrial Access Program are completed online.

  1. Fill out the Rail Division System Access Authorization form. One form is needed for each individual requiring access to the application or invoice processes.
  2. Return the authorization form(s) to Brian Gackstetter
  3. Your user ID and initial password will be emailed to you from SAP Service Account
  4. Log into the Enterprise Business Services portal with your credentials and change your password
  5. In the Enterprise Business Services portal, click the DOT Grants window under "Partner Applications."
  6. Select "Applications" under "Search"
  7. Under Search Criteria, enter "RIAP 20XX" as the Program ID. "XX" corresponds to the relevant funding year. Applications for 2017 enter RIAP 2017. Select Search
  8. Fill out the application
  9. Once submitted, the application will be reviewed

Railroad Commitment

The railroad company owning the main tracks to which a spur track is connected must agree to serve the industry and approve the track construction plans. A Railroad Commitment Form can be found on the Rail Resources site.

Industry Commitment

The industry shall commit to a specific number of new jobs and to a specific level of rail usage during the first five years of operation. An Industry Commitment Form can be found on the Rail Resources site.

When project tracks are located in a municipality where NCDOT has a Transportation Safety Plan, the industry shall accommodate it in its project planning.

County and City Resolution

The project shall be consistent with local land use and transportation plans. The county and city shall provide a resolution supporting the project. A Resolution Support template can be found on the Rail Resources site.

NCDOT Railroad Safety Pledge

The industry, Economic Development Commission and local governments shall pledge to work with NCDOT in a leadership role to make highway-rail improvements that address the safety needs of the public, contractors and employees. Forms for industry safety and Economic Development Commission safety can be found on the Rail Resources site.

Property Easement Certification

The applicant shall certify that it has obtained all property easements necessary to allow access to the rail spur construction site and permit rail freight operations. A Property Easement Certification form can be found on the Rail Resources site.

Project Purchases and Cost Reimbursements

Project purchases are to be competitive and contracts must be awarded to the low bidder. All procurements are to be conducted in accordance with N.C. G.S. 143-129 or 143-131 (formal or informal). Please refer to the Bid Procurement Requirements document for more detail. To receive reimbursement the grantee must submit a payment invoice after the project is completed and after the track is in revenue service.

Procurement Requirements
State Funding Bidding Requirement
>$30,000 Materials or construction contracts – Informal
>$90,000 Materials - Formal
>$500,000 Construction - Formal

Professional Services Procurement

Requirements for professional services must be publicly announced and chosen from licensed consultants based on qualifications.

Reporting Requirements

For five years following project completion the grantee shall report rail use and employment to NCDOT. Grantees that are private or nonprofit must report project activities and project expenditures annually (electronically) to the Rail Division using the provided forms.

Grant Amount Forms
Less than $25,000
  • Certification Form
  • State Grants Compliance Reporting Form
  • $25,000 to $500,000
  • Certification Form
  • State Grants Compliance Reporting Form
  • Program Activities & Accomplishments Report
  • Schedule of Receipts & Expenditures
  • More than $500,000
  • Certification Form
  • State Grants Compliance Reporting Form
  • Annual “Yellow Book” audit by a CPA
  • Contingent Interest

    The grantee may be required to repay NCDOT its contribution to the cost of construction and materials less depreciation if:

    Project Selection Criteria

    The following is required for NCDOT funding consideration:

    NCDOT will use the following criteria when evaluating rail industrial access applications:

    Project Points
    Employment in the First Two Years of Operations
    50-99 employees 4 points
    100-199 employees 8 points
    200-299 employees 12 points
    300+ employees 16 points
    Capital Investment in the First Two Years of Operations
    $5 million to $14 million 2 points
    $15 million to $24 million 4 points
    $25 million to $34 million 6 points
    $35 million + 8 points
    Annual Rail Carloads
    50-199 2 points
    200-349 4 points
    350-499 6 points
    500+ 8 points
    Distressed County of Appalachian Regional Commission Eligible
    Yes 2 points
    No 0 points
    Shortline Preservation
    Yes 2 points
    No 0 points

    Points are awarded based on economic benefits. A minimum score of 8 points is required for project funding.

    The percent of total project costs funded is based on the total points scored as follows:

    Total Points Scored Percent of Total Project Costs
    35+ points 50 percent
    24-34 points 45 percent
    16-23 points 40 percent
    8 -15 points 35 percent
    Less than 8 points Ineligible