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N.C. train system sees highest ridership ever

HIGH POINT, N.C. — Trains are becoming more popular in North Carolina. 

The state’s Department of Transportation says the North Carolina’s passenger rail service hit an all-time high when it comes to ridership this year. 


What You Need To Know

  •  The North Carolina rail service saw the most passengers ever at the beginning of the year
  • In the first two months of 2024, 101,000 people rode the train
  •  It’s a 65% increase over the same time period in 2019
  • The Open Express will run daily this week to take fans to Pinehurst for the U.S. Open

In the first two months of this year, 101,000 people rode the train. 

That’s a 65% increase over the same time period of pre-pandemic totals of 61,000 in 2019. 

Chris Baretta, the chief revenue officer for Carolina Core Pro Soccer, takes the train daily from Charlotte to High Point and says he can tell more people are getting on board. 

“I think it is more and more, it’s packed in a good way,” Baretta said. “It’s a lot of travelers, you know, visiting family up and down the east coast, a lot of working professionals like me traveling to and from Raleigh and Charlotte and and so forth,” Baretta added.

This week the train will have a role in getting fans to Pinehurst for the U.S. Open. 

The Open Express will run daily from Raleigh to the Pinehurst Clubhouse starting Thursday when championship play starts. 

Anna Harden

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