Wednesday, May 18, 2022

5 questions for Carl Warren

Carl Warren was recently named the next president of the North Carolina Railroad Co. The 317-mile NCRR corridor runs from Charlotte to the port terminal at Morehead City and accommodates both freight and passenger service. The company also makes significant investments in freight-rail infrastructure to assist in the recruitment of rail-served business and industry across the state, on and off the NCRR corridor.

[media-credit name=”Carl Warren” align=”alignright” width=”200″][/media-credit]

Carl joins the team from CSX where he led industrial, port and commercial development across 23 states, two Canadian provinces and Mexico, most recently focusing on aligning business-development efforts around short lines, port authorities, site-selection consultants and new customers.  Carl begins his tenure at NCRR on Aug. 17.

What do you like best about your job?

For most of my career, I have been focused on railroading, infrastructure and economic development. When the opportunity to put those skills to work in the town where I was born came up, I couldn’t resist. I am energized by the opportunity this role creates to run a business, while finding ways to have a greater impact on economic development in North Carolina.

What inspires you?

I love having the opportunity to change the map. Locating a new industry on rail, building new capacity in the right places and solving problems that enable the use of rail to meet transportation needs for freight and passenger service has been an integral part of my career. There aren’t many things that are more satisfying to me than visiting a formerly underutilized industrial site that is thriving because of investment and new jobs driven by something I’ve been fortunate enough to partner with others to create.

Who or what should we be paying attention to?

There is nothing good about the COVID-19 situation. It has changed everything. How we work, how we travel, how we socialize. At the same time, I think we should all be paying attention to what we can learn from these unusual circumstances. What does it teach us about travel? Do we need to travel as much as we do for business? What does it teach us about our families? Can we do better in connecting with those we care about? My hope is that we all pay attention to the opportunities in this crisis to learn things that make us all better and more productive while doing more for our families and communities.

What was your biggest challenge this week?

The North Carolina Railroad has more than 170 years of history. As I prepare to begin my work there, I’ve devoted a lot of time and energy to thinking about how we respect the integrity and history of NCRR’s 317-mile rail corridor, while planning the next steps from a business and development perspective to bring NCRR into the future. It’s a challenge I relish.

Eastern or western barbecue?

Bigger on the western, but wouldn’t completely shy away from eastern.


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Ben Kinney
Ben Kinney is publisher of Business North Carolina magazine. You can reach him at

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