Fast Facts

  • 10 Stations and 25 miles of track serving 5 municipalities.

  • Stations will offer park and ride, mobility hubs and first/last mile connections. 

  • Stations will be enhanced and maximized with Transit-Oriented Developments. 

  • Train will use the existing Norfolk Southern ("O" Line) rail line that will be upgraded to accommodate the commuter rail service.


Proposed Stations Map 




  • Provides a direct transit service between Uptown Charlotte to and the town centers of Huntersville, Cornelius and Davidson, extending to Mount Mourne.
  • Supports traffic reduction along I-77.
  • Drives economic development along the route. 
  • Creates connections to the Charlotte Gateway Station, including additional transit options and the surrounding entertainment district.
  • Provides the opportunity for expansion into Iredell County serving key destinations like Lowes Headquarters.
  •  Allows commuters to comfortably work while traveling.


Project Description

The Red Line is a 25-mile commuter rail project using the existing Norfolk Southern rail line. The Red Line would provide a regional connection between Uptown Charlotte and the downtowns of Huntersville, Cornelius and Davidson, extending into Mt. Mourne in Mooresville. 

Stations will function not only as park and rides but as integrated mobility hubs with bus services and first/last mile connections. Stations will also be incorporated into surrounding Transit-Oriented Developments.

The Red Line would provide a direct connection to the Charlotte Gateway Station and the surrounding entertainment district including the Carolina Panthers, Charlotte Knights, and Charlotte Football Club. The Gateway Station would also provide connection to the Silver Line Light Rail, the Gold Line Streetcar, Amtrak, and intercity and local bus services.




The Red Line was first identified in 1998 in the 2025 Transit & Land Use Plan. In 2002, the Metropolitan Transit Commission (MTC) approved a major investment study in commuter rail along the I-77 north corridor. The initial design was completed in 2008.

In 2013, Norfolk Southern changed its Passenger Rail Policy. Under the new policy’s requirements, the Red Line was not feasible on Norfolk Southern’s “O-Line”, which is the single-track rail line that runs through Charlotte, Huntersville, Cornelius, Davidson and Mooresville.

In February 2019, the MTC approved a new Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA) for the North Corridor. The LPA established a North Corridor public transportation strategy that included near-term Bus Rapid Transit on I-77 while continuing a long-term vision for the Red Line, future regional rapid transit and local mobility options. In September 2022, the MTC took action to amend the FY2023 Capital Investment Plan (CIP) to include funding to advance the Red Line Commuter Rail.

On July 25, 2023, the City of Charlotte received a letter from Norfolk Southern stating that the railroad is willing to consider a possible transaction of the O Line. Norfolk Southern and the City are currently in good faith discussions about whether a potential transaction is reasonable at this time. On September 13, 2023, the Charlotte City Council approved the contract to advance the design of the Red Line.

Next Steps
The first phase of the Red Line Design Update will be completed by early 2025. It will focus on:

  •  Public involvement and stakeholder coordination
  •  Updating the previous design from 2008
  •  Assess the previously identified station locations
  •  Examining new options for a new vehicle maintenance facility
  •  Reevaluating vehicle technologies and frequency of service
  •  Analyzing new alignment options into Uptown Charlotte
  •  Providing an updated cost estimate

There will be multiple opportunities for public involvement over the course of the year, including several public meetings and direct community engagement. 

Existing Conditions and Transit Equity Interactive Map

Spring 2024 Virtual YouTube Meeting

Commuter vs. Light Rail Video v=OQMQF-L2HTQ





Phone number: 855-925-2801; enter project code 1752 to leave a voicemail