Short line railroad holding company Patriot Rail Corporation has entered into an agreement with the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) to commence rail service on the Piedmont and Northern Railway (P&N) in North Carolina in the US.

Under the 20-year agreement, Patriot will be responsible for operating, maintaining and marketing freight rail services on the Piedmont and Northern Railway.

The NCDOT recently completed an upgrade of the westernmost four miles of the rail line from Gastonia to Ranlo, and Patriot expects to commence rail service on the upgraded westernmost section in the first quarter of 2011.