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Joey_Blackdogg

Charlotte / Atlanta High Speed Rail

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https://www.charlottestories.com/sir-richard-branson-might-soon-bring-high-speed-rail-to-charlotte/

With a Virgin/brightline JV high speed rail potentially coming to the southeast, connecting Charlotte and Atlanta, could Greenville see a benefit of being a mid-point along the route? Do you think they would create a stop here? 

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1 hour ago, Joey_Blackdogg said:

https://www.charlottestories.com/sir-richard-branson-might-soon-bring-high-speed-rail-to-charlotte/

With a Virgin/brightline JV high speed rail potentially coming to the southeast, connecting Charlotte and Atlanta, could Greenville see a benefit of being a mid-point along the route? Do you think they would create a stop here? 

They'd be crazy not to tap into a 1,000,000+ population center. And, local/state officials would be crazy not to do their part to tap into the line. 

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Brightline has mentioned Charlotte-Atlanta as a possible line for months and nobody in the Upstate has paid much attention.  I find it unlikely, since (1) existing Norfolk Southern tracks are already significantly congested (just check out the Amtrak Crescent's timeliness, particularly northbound), and so (2) Brightline would need to add tracks and work out track use rights with Norfolk Southern or build its own tracks,  but then again, I never thought I'd see the day when a private operator built its own passenger rail line, which Brightline has done.

Charlotte-Greenville-Atlanta needs this.  It's a densely populated corridor with just one passenger train per day in each direction, in the middle of the night; similar corridors have multiple trains per day (and Charlotte-Greenville-Atlanta had multiple trains per day until the 1970s), and I-85 is a mess.

I know that many Democrats worship government as the solution to all of life's problems, but the dismal state of transportation in the Charlotte-Greenville-Atlanta market shows that government isn't, and that the private sector should be viewed as a better solution.

Edited by PuppiesandKittens
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I am not a SME on the subject of rail, albeit I do have some knowledge of it. But don't even the 'private' passenger lines get subsidies or exclusive rights or something from the  government. Are they strictly using only private money to lease rail lines and provide the cars? 

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I suspect Brightline would build new tracks on an entirely separate alignment.  The current NS tracks are very physically constrained and winding, which makes adding track and achieving high speeds largely unfeasible.  Not to mention the major way the company makes money is real-estate development at the stations.  This would be much easier to do on a greenfield site where they could control more land.  So I wouldn't expect a station near downtown.

Edit: I think Atlanta to Charlotte will be much more difficult than their Florida route, due to more challenging topography and having to deal with 3 separate states for permitting, ROW acquisition, etc.

Edited by westsider28

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Leaders in Greenville, Spartanburg and Greer are paying attention to this project. 

Edited by gman

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19 hours ago, vicupstate said:

I am not a SME on the subject of rail, albeit I do have some knowledge of it. But don't even the 'private' passenger lines get subsidies or exclusive rights or something from the  government. Are they strictly using only private money to lease rail lines and provide the cars? 

The only private passenger line in the US (other than museums and tourist trains) is Brightline.  

It used a bond program to issue bonds, for which it is responsible to repay,  that the investors get favorable tax treatment for on the interest.  That’s it.  

It pays for everything else itself- even to maintain some crossings with roads) which governments usually pay for since train tracks were usually built first and roads that cross them were built later).

Very few large private projects have such little reliance on public funds.  

Edited by PuppiesandKittens

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17 hours ago, gman said:

Leaders in Greenville, Spartanburg and Greer are paying attention to this project. 

Perhaps this will be something our grandchildren will utilize and enjoy....

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