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North Carolina Intercity Rail Transit


Noneck_08

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The CRISP CSX/NS grade separation project is located right in the 12th / Graham / I-277 / Seaboard Street area. As you point out, This right at the point where the NCRR line turns to join the 'O' line (North Corridor). Since the CRISP project calls for lowering the CSX line under the NCRR line, it will also go under the 'O' line as well, since the NCRR and 'O' are so close together at that point.

As both Staffer and Monsoon point out, the HSR improvements planned that also benefit the NE corridor are lesser both relative to the total cost of the project, and also in absolute dollar terms, so that's little more than a footnote when compared to the total cost. HSR will have little impact on the cost effectiveness / feasibility of that line.

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.... But, again, HSR if funded will relieve a substantial part of the North line costs for Gateway station, and for bridges and structures as far as the current CSX interchange
From what I understand this portion is not a major cost element of this project.

According to the pitches that I have seen, the primary cost elements of the North line are the track improvements and the grade crossings by roads. Most of the track along the 30 mile length has to be pulled up and replaced along with new sleepers. There also has to be considerable widening in places to allow for two way traffic. In addition there are other safety issues with 70 mph trains passing where there are a lot of pedestrians. The crossing near Davidson University is one such example and which will cost a considerable amount to correct.

This other issue is with the ~100 - 150 or so grade crossings. I don't remember the exact number but they did say it had one of the highest percentages they have ever seen for a CR project. Many of these are private roads and closing them means condemnation proceedings and payouts. Many of the closings will require alternative roads to be built. Others will have to be upgraded to FTA standards for silent running. It's these two elements that is driving most of the cost. A quick drive through Derita and up Hwy 115 will demonstrate these issues exactly.

The portion of Gateway station devoted to the North CR line is essentially nothing more than a platform. Funding for the North CR project does not include the costs for the rest of the station plan that was presented a couple of years ago. It is my opinion that most of that plan won't be built because it was conceived at a time when the locals thought they could build an office building and rent the space. Real estate and demand for it has gone bust so this plan no longer works. In any case, if the HSR were to build out this station, it would have $0 effect on the North CR project. Who pays for the other stations is also under debate.

Given these considerations, the HSR project won't do anything to assist the North line funding scenarios.

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So I was reading through the list of projects and gathered some statistics regarding double tracking the "H" line.

If all the projects on NC's list are funded, the NCRR between Greensboro and Cary ("H" line), will be almost completely double tracked - the only single track segments left would be 8.5 miles through Burlington (H15.0-H23.5) and 7.2 miles through Hillsborough (H37.3-H44.5).

The total distance from Cary to Greensboro is 73 miles. Currently there is only 9.3 miles of double track, so that means a total of 48 miles of new double track, at a total cost of $350 million - roughly $7.3 million per mile. This would seem high for simply adding a second track, but many of the double track segments would also include major realignments, new grade separations, new river crossings, etc.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Got an update on the midday piedmont from [url=http://www.railroad.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=63177]another forum.

So evidently NCDOT bought some used locomotives from Toronto for the midday Piedmont train. Apparently some locomotives they were planning on leasing fell through. The Toronto equipment will be re-numbered to 1810 and 1859. Any idea what cities were incorporated in those years?

More equipment will come back from rebuild this month. Looks like the complimentary snacks may be replaced with vending machines.

Norfolk Southern is working intermittently on the double tracking project between Greensboro and High point. For whatever reason they're not keeping their work crews constantly assigned to the project, instead sometimes pulling them away to work elsewhere for some time.

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[quote name='orulz' date='Aug 11 2009, 12:19 PM' post='1083567'

More equipment will come back from rebuild this month. Looks like the complimentary snacks may be replaced with vending machines.

Thanks for the update!

I'd guess the state bought locomotives from GO Transit?

For more equipment- more of the same- coaches and the like from the 1960s, as are currently used?

Out of curiosity, why didn't NC buy new passenger train equipment, along the lines of the nice new cars that New Jersey Transit uses on some of its locomotive-hauled trains? The NC equipment looks nice and is well-kept, but it's still 1960s-era equipment. Cost savings, I'd guess?

Doubtless cost was the main factor. You can only get a good price on trains if you are part of a large order, since small orders means extremely high unit costs. Though I'm not at all sure why they didn't try to piggyback on some other system's (like NJT's) order.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hm. Is there any reason to expect that the content of the acutal application will be any different than the content of the pre-application submitted last month?

We already know which projects on the pre-application belong to Track 1: the ones in green on the table. Highlights:

  • Rolling stock and yard upgrades for the 4th Raleigh-Charlotte frequency (the 3rd is already fully funded and due to start later this year)
  • Several components of CRISP including the CSX/NS grade separation
  • Full double tracking from Greensboro-Charlotte
  • Two new passing sidings on the H- line, one in Durham and the other in Haw River.
  • Improvements to the Cary station
  • Grade separations at Hopson Road, Morrisville Parkway, Klumac Road, and Caldwell Road
  • Closing 15 private crossings

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Hm. Is there any reason to expect that the content of the acutal application will be any different than the content of the pre-application submitted last month?

We already know which projects on the pre-application belong to Track 1: the ones in green on the table. Highlights:

  • Rolling stock and yard upgrades for the 4th Raleigh-Charlotte frequency (the 3rd is already fully funded and due to start later this year)
  • Several components of CRISP including the CSX/NS grade separation
  • Full double tracking from Greensboro-Charlotte
  • Two new passing sidings on the H- line, one in Durham and the other in Haw River.
  • Improvements to the Cary station
  • Grade separations at Hopson Road, Morrisville Parkway, Klumac Road, and Caldwell Road
  • Closing 15 private crossings

http://blogs.newsobserver.com/crosstown/nc...ain-stimulation

.....In preliminary filings in July, North Carolina said it eventually would apply for about $4 billion in rail grants to help build faster and more frequent rail service between Charlotte and Washington, D.C. Today the state asked for a small share of that total in six separate applications for a combined $75.9 million.

The grants include money to upgrade the Cary, Burlington and High Point rail stations, to rehabilitate locomotives and passenger cars, to build a rail passing siding in the Haw River area, to finish engineering work for a proposed line between Raleigh and Richmond, and to conduct environmental studies for proposed rail service extensions in western and southeastern North Carolina

.....

The Federal Railroad Administration is accepting applications today only for projects that are ready to start. Other projects that can be ready to go by the end of 2009 will be included in a much larger batch of grant applications to be filed by Oct. 2, Simmons said.

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Here are North Carolina's applications, just posted

http://bytrain.org/fra/default.html

have at it. I've pulled out some interesting text and sublinks. I'll let folks crowdsource a lot of other stuff out of this:

Applications

NC3.1bSEHSR-Raleigh to Richmond Corridor

(links to supporting materials)

http://bytrain.org/fra/nc3/nc3_1b_app.pdf application itself.

NC5.1aSEHSR-Stations

Application details

NCDOT has made a concerted effort to make improvements to its passenger railroad stations across the state.

The project includes parking increases, platform extensions, and passenger waiting area improvements as well as the addition of backup generators and security cameras to several passenger rail stations.

* The majority of physical upgrades will occur at three stations - Cary, Burlington, and High Point. All three stations are located in NC along trackage and right-of-way owned by the North Carolina Railroad (NCRR). The stations are located at the following addresses and mileposts:

High Point - 100 W. High Ave., High Point, NC 27260, NCRR MP 299.4

Burlington - 101 North Main Street, Burlington, NC 27217, NCRR H-Line MP 21.4

Cary - 211 N. Academy St. Cary, NC 27511, NCRR H-Line MP 73.5

A total of 16 stations in NC will be receiving other upgrades that include backup generators and security cameras.

* These station improvements are located at all stations throughout NC and would benefit all rail service in the state,

including the Piedmont, Carolinian, Crescent, Silver Star, Silver Meteor, and Palmetto. The stations receiving the physical upgrades; High Point, Burlington, and Cary; are on the Piedmont Corridor, which is part of the federally designated SEHSR corridor that will connect the NEC at Washington, DC to Atlanta and Florida.

* The High Point, Burlington, and Cary Stations as well as the other stations proposed for upgrades are currently station stops for the existing Amtrak service in NC provided by the Piedmont, Carolinian, Crescent, Silver Star, Silver Meteor, and Palmetto. The extensive planning completed to date for the SEHSR has been based on maintaining service to all existing stations targeted locations. As such, upgrades to these stations function to support the proposed high speed service in the SEHSR corridor.

* The specific improvement proposed as part of this project are as follows: (1) At the High Point station the number of customer parking spaces will be increased from 9 to 29, allowing more customers to find convenient parking. (2) At the Burlington station, the station platform will be extended by 200 linear feet. This will allow the loading of all train cars at the same time. Currently, only a portion of the train cars are loaded, then the train is repositioned, and then the remaining cars are loaded.

(3) At the Cary station, several improvements are proposed. First, the number of parking spaces will be increased from 146 to 167 to accommodate additional customers. Second, the passenger waiting room will be increased in ize from 500 square feet to 2,400 square feet. Third, a total of five passenger shelters will be added to the train platforms or protection from the weather. Finally, a 200 foot extension will be added to one of the platforms to allow easier oarding.

(4) Six emergency generators will be installed, one at each of the following stations: Rocky Mount, Selma, Burlington, Fayetteville, Southern Pines and Wilson (5) Security cameras, digital video recorders, and a dedicated network will be installed at 14 stations: Rocky Mount, Wilson, Selma, Raleigh, Capital Yard, Cary, Burlington, High Point, Salisbury, Kannapolis, Gastonia, Fayetteville, Southern Pines, and Hamlet.

Preliminary Engineering:


Burlington Platform Extension



[*]Cary Depot Upfit



[*]High Point Station Parking Expansion


Retaining Wall Details Sheet 2.1
Standard Details Map

SEHSR-Congestion Mitigation

NC6.1a

Application actual application

This project involves four discrete sub-projects all within the state of North Carolina. The project includes the design and

construction of universal crossovers at the following locations:

* North Carolina Railroad (NCRR) Milepost H 71-79 between Fetner and Boylan (near Powell Dr.) on CSXT's "S-line"

MP 160.5-164.8

* At CSXT "A-Line" Milepost A 86.4

* At CSXT "A-Line" Milepost A 101.0

* At CSXT "A-Line" Milepost A 115.9.

The FRA's Technical Monograph: Transportation Planning for the Richmond - Charlotte Railroad Corridor, January 2004, specifically referred to the Powell Drive crossover saying, "there is no interlocking between Fetner and Boylan - a distinct handicap in this area of special complexity." (www.fra.dot.gov/downloads/RRDev/rich_vol_1.pdf) (page 6-22). Like all the crossover projects, the Powell project will allow for meets and passing of trains which will improve operational efficiency, enhance reliability and reduce travel time. Powell, in particular, would directly affect three Amtrak routes on the CSXT "S-Line" including: the Carolinian, Piedmont, and the Silver Star. Piedmont service on the NCRR between Cary and Raleigh will also benefit. (A map of the proposed projects is attached to this application.) CSXT also provides rail freight service on this portion of its "S-line" corridor. The three CSXT "A-Line" crossovers will also improve operational efficiency, enhance reliability, and reduce travel time on CSXT's north-south main line. Passenger trains directly affected include the Carolinian, Silver Star, Silver Meteor, Palmetto, and Auto Train.

NC7.3Western and Southeasterrn Intercity Passenger Service Expansions

Application actual application

Map of Planned Investments:

NC8.1aSEHSR-Other Speed and Safety Improvements

Preliminary Engineering:

NC12.1aSEHSR-Current Needs and 3rd Frequency

Application details here

Current Needs

- construct Haw River Siding (TIP P-3414O)

- mid-life rebuild of 2 locomotives (TIP: P-2918)

- improve tracks at Capital Yard (TIP: P-2918)

3rd Frequency

- rehabilitate 3 passenger rail cars (TIP: P-2918)

- purchase/mid-life rebuilds 3 used locomotives (TIP: P-2918)

Edited by staffer
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  • 3 weeks later...

I saw this on another website (Railroad.net thanks to matthewsaggie) and thought I would post it here to get discussions going.. The Third Piedmont frequency...

#80 7:30 AM into Raleigh at 10:51

#74 12:30 PM into RGH at 3:43

# 76 5:30 PM into RGH at 8:43

Note that there are swaps in numbers between 73/74 and 75/76. These number swaps will actually take effect in October.

Out of Raleigh:

#73 6:50 AM into CLT at 10:02

#75 11:50 AM into CLT and 3:02

#79 4:50 PM into CLT at 8:14 (79/80 get a few extra minutes due to the weight of the train; 7 cars vs 3 or 4.

So, what do you think? Does this mean both CLT and RGH will have trains RON?

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So, what do you think? Does this mean both CLT and RGH will have trains RON?

The schedule makes sense.. though I wouldn't mind a later departure from both Raleigh and Charlotte. I suppose they'll shift things around even more for the 4th frequency (probably 77/78.)

What do you mean by RON? Do you mean have the train stay overnight?

If that's the case, then no: notice that each train starts and ends its journey in Raleigh. There is limited yard space in Charlotte, and that's where the Carolinian "sleeps". The track is actually only long enough to hold 8 cars - and that's why the Carolinian is so short, even though it sometimes sells out.

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Okay.. here is the way I'm looking at the schedule...

Carolinian - Charlotte (7:30 AM) to Raleigh (10:51) to New York... New York to Raleigh (4:50 PM) to Charlotte (8:14 PM) to RON

Piedmont 1 - Raleigh (6:50 AM) to Charlotte (10:02) to train servicing to Charlotte (12:30 PM) to Raleigh (3:43 PM)

Piedmont 2 - Raleigh (11:50 AM) to Charlotte (3:02) to train servicing to Charlotte (5:30 PM) to Raleigh (8:43 PM)

RON = Remain Over Night

So my Question is.. what does Piedmont 2 do until 11:50? What does Piedmont 1 do after 3:43 PM?

Seems like a waste of time.. Couldn't they send it to Selma or something? Add a Clayton stop to pick up traffic that way?

I mean, with that much time, they could send Piedmont 1 to Clayton and be able to turn it around and still have it RON in Raleigh..

Piedmont 2 could go Raleigh to Clayton and back before departing for Charlotte.. SOMETHING instead of the waste of time.

AND isn't there a spare engine/trainset sitting around?

Am I missing something?

Last Question.. would the Talgos work on the line? They would be sweet if they could do a Talgo from (1) Morehead City to Charlotte and (2) Asheville to Wilmington at the least once daily.. but I could be but just dreaming I guess..

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I suspect there would be labor issues. 11:50 to 8:43 is already 9 hours. Couldn't do much at all without requiring another crew. Though, that's certainly not impossible; they could just hire another crew.

However, as for service to Clayton or Selma: where would they turn the train? They couldn't turn it in Selma without fouling BOTH tracks of the CSX mainline for a very long time, including 1+ mile backing move.

Another possibility would be sending the train to Goldsboro and back, which would be a more meaningful endpoint than Selma, and crossing the CSX mainline on the diamond would be less of an issue to CSX, though it might induce delays. Turning the train would also not be a problem in Goldsboro, but there's no station on the NCRR there, and though Union Station is being restored, there's no connection from the NCRR to union station.

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Well here's a possibility..

Sat/Sun Service..

Piedmont 1 - Raleigh (6:50 AM) to Charlotte (10:02) to train servicing to Charlotte (12:30 PM) to Raleigh (3:43 PM) to Raleigh (4:45 PM) to Morehead City (9:00 PM)

Piedmont 2 - Morehead City (6:10AM) to Raleigh (10:30 AM) to Raleigh (11:50 AM) to Charlotte (3:02) to train servicing to Charlotte (5:30 PM) to Raleigh (8:43 PM)

Mon-Fri Service..

Piedmont 1 - Raleigh (6:50 AM) to Charlotte (10:02) to train servicing to Charlotte (12:30 PM) to Raleigh (3:43 PM) to Raleigh (4:45 PM) to Selma to Fayetteville (8:00 PM)

Piedmont 2 - Fayetteville (7:00 AM) to Selma to Raleigh (10:00 AM) to Raleigh (11:50 AM) to Charlotte (3:02) to train servicing to Charlotte (5:30 PM) to Raleigh (8:43 PM)

It would at least provide better utilizations of the train, provide commuter capabilities for Fayetteville and Johnson County area residents workin in the Ral-Dur-Cary-CH area, and provide weekend excursion capabilities to the beach...

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Well here's a possibility..

Sat/Sun Service..

Piedmont 1 - Raleigh (6:50 AM) to Charlotte (10:02) to train servicing to Charlotte (12:30 PM) to Raleigh (3:43 PM) to Raleigh (4:45 PM) to Morehead City (9:00 PM)

Piedmont 2 - Morehead City (6:10AM) to Raleigh (10:30 AM) to Raleigh (11:50 AM) to Charlotte (3:02) to train servicing to Charlotte (5:30 PM) to Raleigh (8:43 PM)

I suspect it would require some pretty heavy duty improvements to the tracks to achieve even a 4:15 running time between Raleigh and Morehead. And you still run into the issues of stations and facilities in the cities along the route. Obviously the train would stop in Havelock, New Bern, Kintson, and Goldsboro; all would need either completely new stations or big time refurbishments of historic ones. None of this is impossible but it's certainly not something that could be implemented by March.

Mon-Fri Service..

Piedmont 1 - Raleigh (6:50 AM) to Charlotte (10:02) to train servicing to Charlotte (12:30 PM) to Raleigh (3:43 PM) to Raleigh (4:45 PM) to Selma to Fayetteville (8:00 PM)

Piedmont 2 - Fayetteville (7:00 AM) to Selma to Raleigh (10:00 AM) to Raleigh (11:50 AM) to Charlotte (3:02) to train servicing to Charlotte (5:30 PM) to Raleigh (8:43 PM)

This would be an extremely useful and well-patronized service. The only problem is, there is no track connection and no platform in that quadrant of the NCRR/CSX crossing at Selma. One would have to be built. Definitely a worthwhile investment, but it would require property acquisition, engineering design, coordination with CSX, etc. so again, this could probably not be implemented right away.

The only service extensions that would be possible in such a short timeframe (March 2010) would be:

(1) Extend the Piedmont past Raleigh to Rocky Mount via Selma

(2) Extend the Piedmont past Charlotte to Greenville, SC

The facilities for both of these extensions are already in place, so all that would be needed are new crews and negotiations with CSX/NS. The extension to Greenville would also require SC to either pony up, or find some federal grant money - not an entirely impossible proposition.

Charlotte to Columbia, SC is also plausible, but not really practical since the Charlotte-Columbia track is limited to 49 or 59mph due to signaling, and there could be no intermediate stops between Charlotte and Columbia as there is no working Amtrak station in Rock Hill, Chester, or Winnsboro.

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