- Associated Press - Thursday, June 4, 2015

GASTONIA, N.C. (AP) - The North Carolina Board of Transportation has formally approved a lease agreement for rail service on the agency’s Piedmont & Northern rail corridor in Gaston County.

The Charlotte Observer (http://bit.ly/1eQM874) reported that under terms of the agreement, Iowa Pacific’s Piedmont Railway subsidiary will operate, maintain and market freight service on the 13-mile rail line serving Mount Holly, Belmont, Ranlo, Lowell and Gastonia.

Officials say the railroad also may also provide passenger rail service.

Built in 1911, the Piedmont & Northern Railway hauled passengers between Gastonia and uptown Charlotte before closing in the 1950s.

It then became a freight route that eventually was scheduled for abandonment. In 1991, the state bought the unused portion, preserving it for future use.

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Information from: The Charlotte Observer, http://www.charlotteobserver.com

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