Transportation & Infrastructure

Transportation & Infrastructure

If getting to somewhere is important to your business, you won’t be disappointed. 53% of the US population lives within 12-hours trucking distance or a 2 hour flight of the Charlotte area. With easy access to multiple Interstates (I-77, I-40, & I-85), cities like New York, Orlando and Chicago are easily reached in a day. The area is also served by an extensive rail system. And it’s no wonder more than 1,000 international companies operate in the metro region — Charlotte Douglas International Airport is a major hub for domestic and international flights offering over 700 daily depatures with non-stop flights to 165 destinations, including 33 international destinations. Several deep-water seaports are nearby on the North Carolina coast, and the Charleston Port in SC is less than 3 hours away.


Interstate 85 bisects Gaston County as it runs from Atlanta, GA to intersect with I-95 near Richmond, Virginia (the major north/south highway on the East Coast). I-85 provides easy access to Uptown Charlotte, and links to I-77. 

Interstate 40 is a major east/west route just north of Gaston County. I-40 stretches 2,554 miles from Wilmington, NC to Barstow, California, passing through Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona along the way.

Interstate 485 is an outer beltway around Charlotte that connects Gaston County to other suburban communities, and provides additional access to UNC Charlotte campus.


The Piedmont & Northern Railway (PNRW) operates over 13 miles of track running from Gastonia to Mount Holly, with a spur line towards Belmont. The PNRW interchanges with Class I carriers CSX Transportation at Mount Holly and Norfolk Southern Railway at Gastonia.

Iowa Pacific Holdings, a privately-held short line and freight railroad holding company announced in 2015 it will be responsible for operating, maintaining and marketing freight rail service on the PNRW.

Charlotte is well served by passenger trains linking local travelers to 15 other North Carolina cities daily, as well as major markets in the New York – Miami corridor. Click here for more information about passenger rail service, including schedules and routes.

INTERMODAL FACILITY at Charlotte Douglas International Airport

The 200-acre intermodal facility at the airport opened in 2012. The Airport is strategically positioned for the intermodal facility, creating an intermodal hub linking air, rail and truck to east coast seaports. The facility, which is capable of 200,000 lifts annually, transfers containers between trucks and trains, and connects to the intermodal facilities at the Port of Charleston. The facility is managed by Norfolk Southern.


Charlotte Douglas International Airport serves the needs of commercial, cargo, corporate, private, military and trucking operations in the area, and is ranked among the nation's top airports for both passengers and cargo. Charlotte Douglas is a major U.S. hub and international gateway, with non-stop service to 175 cities including London, Frankfurt and Munich.

Charlotte Airport Fast Facts 

Rankings 2016:

Sixth busiest in North America by total aircraft movements
Seventh busiest in the world by total aircraft movements
11th busiest in North America by total passengers
32nd busiest worldwide by total passengers
33rd busiest in North America by cargo
Major Airlines: 9
Non-stop Service to 175 destinations, including 36 international destinations

Interactive map with daily flights from Charlotte



Major East coast ports are easily accessible from the Lake Norman Region. Shipments in and out of these ports are aided by the Charlotte Inland Terminal (CIT). There is also an inland terminal in Greensboro.

North Carolina:
Port of Wilmington (219 miles)
Port of Morehead City (327 miles)

South Carolina:
Charleston Harbor (220 miles)
Georgetown Harbor (203 miles)

Port of Richmond (297 miles)
Port of Hampton Roads (341 miles)


Gaston County offers utility services at rates that are competitive with any region of the country. Services are provided by:

Water/Sewer: Two Rivers Utilities
Natural Gas: PSNC 
Electricity: ElectriCities and Duke Power