Raleigh, NC -- The North Carolina Railroad Co. is a strange bird. It's a private corporation whose only shareholder is the state of North Carolina. It owns no locomotives but provides freight and passenger service from the big cities to Down East.
Now legislators closely reviewing the railroad company want the state to become more active owners nearly 15 years after the company's last private shareholders were bought out. A bill being floated at the Legislature would require more oversight of the company and demand the state receive direct cash dividends again.
The company was created before the Civil War and today owns 317 miles of rail from Charlotte to Morehead City.
Railroad President Scott Saylor says the cash dividends could delay rail improvements that benefit economic development.