NC By Train launches new service and schedule changes

July 11, 2023
The improvements include more departures and some reduced travel times for passengers between Raleigh and Charlotte, N.C.

NC By Train has launched a new service and schedule changes. The improvements include more departures and some reduced travel times for passengers between North Carolina’s two biggest cities: Raleigh and Charlotte.

The Piedmont and Carolinian now offer five daily roundtrips for travel between Raleigh, Charlotte and points in between. Customers now have more service and flexibility, including:

  • 10 daily departures
  • A new 1 p.m. departure from Raleigh
  • A new 5:30 p.m. departure from Charlotte
  • Schedule adjustments departing Charlotte: 2:20 p.m. and 7:45 p.m.

In addition to serving Raleigh and Charlotte, the Piedmont and Carolinian also stop in Cary, Durham, Burlington, Greensboro, High Point, Salisbury and Kannapolis, N.C. The Carolinian continues through eastern North Carolina, with stops in Selma, Wilson and Rocky Mount and then on to Virginia, Washington, D.C., and the northeast.

The additional NC By Train services are fueled by the record ridership the state has experienced during the past year. In 2022, ridership aboard NC By Train was the highest in its 32-year history.

“The increase in ridership in 2022 and the beginning of 2023 shows that people love NC By Train and want more,” said NCDOT Secretary Eric Boyette. “We’re happy to provide our customers with more trains and new schedule options.”

The Piedmont and Carolinian, which travels daily from New York to Charlotte, is sponsored by the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) and operated by Amtrak. The service is paid for through state funding and passenger fares.

“Our state’s rail service is top-notch and I’m grateful for this partnership with Amtrak and NCDOT,” said North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper. “These additional service options will help North Carolinians get where they need to be.” 

The Piedmont began service in 1995 with one daily round trip. Ridership has increased to approximately 300,000 passengers annually.

NCDOT’s expanded passenger rail service is part of a broader multimodal transportation system in North Carolina that includes public transportation in every county, a connected network of intercity and regional bus services, and vanpool options for commuters.

“North Carolina is making substantial investments to expand and improve passenger rail,” said Amtrak President Roger Harris. “It is a pleasure to partner with North Carolina to bring train service to the region and an honor customers trust us for a vital and sustainable way to travel.”

The Piedmont and Carolinian offer large spacious seats with ample legroom and no middle seat. Customers can stay connected throughout the entire journey (no “airplane mode”) with Wi-Fi included and outlets at every seat.  

About the Author

Brandon Lewis | Associate Editor

Brandon Lewis is a recent graduate of Kent State University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lewis is a former freelance editorial assistant at Vehicle Service in Endeavor Business Media’s Vehicle Repair Group. Lewis brings his knowledge of web managing, copyediting and SEO practices to Mass Transit Magazine as an associate editor.

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Sept. 30, 2011