The addition of a midday train between North Carolina's two largest cities has increased ridership on the state-sponsored passenger rail service.
The state Department of Transportation announced on Monday that the Piedmont midday service between Raleigh and Charlotte helped increase ridership by nearly 200 percent over last June from 5,258 to 15,426.
The new train service began on June 5. It builds upon the existing Piedmont service, which runs morning and evening trains between the cities. The new service is expected to attract 43,000 new passengers in its first year.
For the period from last October through June 2010, Piedmont ridership is up 26 percent over the same period one year ago.