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No injuries after dump truck, train collide; tracks still closed

Read more: http://www.newsobserver.com/2010/08/16/631802/dump-truck-collides-with-amtrak.html#ixzz0wnTIpTLB

So the PIedmont was involved in yet another crash. The noontime service was canceled. Evidently, a dump truck didn't know it was crossing a railroad track.

I believe we should start a petition to close the entire NCRR line from the South Carolina border all the way to Morehead City. This is just becoming a nightmare after nightmare. In Europe, they have closed lines. NC has been doing really well at upgrading the rail lines and adding appropriate trackage, but I don't think that's gonna do very well if they don't have any trains to run on them. Not sure if the Mebane crashed engine is back in service or not, but this is becoming a trend.

I feel it's okay for them to use eminent domain to acquire the land they need so they can close the lines. This is just getting ridiculous.

Oh, and btw, if I haven't said it in a couple of days/weeks/months.. I so wish NCRR would run a line to Morehead City at least once daily. I mean, come ON! I wanna go to my parents and the only option is to drive! And from the DC metro area, that's a LONG TIME in a LOT OF TRAFFIC!

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Amtrak ridership numbers for fiscal year 2019 are out.  The Carolinian is down 4.7% to 244,779.  The Piedmont is up 28.1% at 214,218.  The Piedmont saw the second highest growth on all of Amtrak's rou

Current routing in red, the new VA rail purchase in green. I'm not sure how to find ownership of the "Norlina Subdivision" line running from Norlina to Raleigh, but boy that's an exciting possibility

How have we, the richest (and "greatest") country in the world, managed to mangle our rail infrastructure so badly? How do we call 125 mph/200 km/h  "high speed rail" with a straight face? I had to op

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So I have been looking at this map for a few days: http://www.bytrain.org/quicklinks/pdf/nc_railmap_10.pdf and I keep getting drawn towards the O-line (I think) which connects Charlotte, Mooresville, Mocksville, Winston-Salem and Greensboro. The map makes it appear to be a straight shot between Charlotte and Winston. Can anyone here comment on the condition of the line north of Mooresville? Is this a route that could be used for commuter service at some point in the VERY distant future? (Winston always seems to get left out of NC passenger rail plans).

I do recognize the absurdity of my question (with the NCRR getting double tracked from CLT to Gboro) -- it just seems like an interesting (and from my perspective neglected) line.

CATS has been planning a commuter rail project (from Mooresville to Charlotte) there for several years. Check it out here.

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No injuries after dump truck, train collide; tracks still closed

I believe we should start a petition to close the entire NCRR line from the South Carolina border all the way to Morehead City. This is just becoming a nightmare after nightmare.

Agreed, and the Northeast Corridor between NY and DC is completely closed, and almost all grade crossings between Boston and NY are gone, too. (I'd assume that the new 110 mph line in Michigan is also closed).

I don't see why it's so complex- just close off roads that don't have a lot of traffic and build bridges for the rest.

I hope that the dump truck driver is billed the full costs of the accident (train repair, track damage, delays, bus costs, etc.).

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The DOT requested $290 million more in high speed rail money for the Raleigh to Charlotte track last week. While there's a lot less money on the table -- just over 2.3 billion -- the feds are requiring a minimum 20% local match, so there are a lot fewer funding requests than with the ARRA's money. 77 applications totaled 8.5 billion in requests.

I feel like we really lucked out with the ARRA allotment, so it will be interesting to see if the money keeps flowing. And good for the DOT, stepping up to the plate with the required matching funds.

The press release only mentioned a few specific things that would be funded -- grade separations at Sugar Creek Rd in Charlotte and Blue Ridge Road in Raleigh, and some station improvements. It looks like they were part of the DOT's 5th frequency needs. I couldn't find a detailed breakdown of what was specifically requested.

Here's a good overview of our competition. We should find out this fall, so keep your fingers crossed.

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It seems to me the press always underscores the progress North Carolina towards improving rail infrastructure. North Carolina has dozens of downtown's, educational facilities, jobs centers, and population centers located along its rail corridors. I envision North Carolina's towns and cities from Raleigh to Charlotte will have access to high speed rail, high frequency intercity rail, and commuter rail within 20 years. Then people nationally will finally take notice of the progress NC has made.

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  • 3 weeks later...

OK. Here we go. The first salvo in a long NIMBY rant emerging from Five Points...

N&O~08/31/10

Now give me the reasons again why the Capital Blvd. approach shouldn't be sunk? Yes, it's expensive, but I can almost guarantee you that the tunnel boring and utility relocation required will cost more or less the same as the hordes of NIMBY lawyers and extortionist lawsuits from these whiners. The thing is that you either pay contractors to sink it (who in turn pay some of your neighbors who work on the thing) and delete the basis of the complaints from the Five Point blue hairs, or a pay small army of litigation specialists who will delay, drain, and suck the absolute life out of this project, contributing the money to nothing more than a country club, a Porsche dealer, and/or a hooker or two.

My response to these people (continuation of original use, tough tooties to you) will not be not be decided upon in the way way, or to the same outcome. There is a long, sordid history of "coming to a nuisance" litigation in this country to have serious misgivings. So my question is, do you want HSR built in Raleigh, or not? If you do, you'd better think about putting it in a tunnel.

Edited by vitaviatic
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  • 4 weeks later...

Well, since there has been NO updates on here in about a month, I thought I would add my wish list to the thready..

Here's what I'm wishing for CARAM (CARolina AMtrak.. heheheheehe)

1. Train Display Boards (Already announced) so that you can see when the train is scheduled arrived, actual arrival, scheduled departure, and actual departure.

2. Updated website with the train information BY TRAIN rather than by station...

3. CARAM Lounges in Raleigh, Charlotte, Greensboro (CARAM Lounge would be similar to the Delta SkyClub or AAdmirals Club)

4. New Union Station at Raleigh with 6 platforms

5. CARAM passport service (get a stamp for each station you visit. Anyone who visits all stations get 2 free tickets and 2 free upgrades to Business Class as applicable)

6. Sundry Car (special car with gift shop and vending or full service)

7. The Routes...

Legend: (E)ngine-(B)usiness only-(K)Business/Coach-©oach-(S)undry-(V)ending-(D)ining-B(A)ggage

The Tryon (2 daily - ECCSE) Raleigh-Selma-Goldsboro-Kinston-New Bern-Havelock-Morehead City

Tidewater (2 daily - EKCCSE) Greensboro-Cary-Raleigh-Wake Forest-Roanoke Rapids-Suffolk-Cheseapeke-Norfolk

Pirateer (2 daily - ECCSE) Raleigh-Zebulon-Rocky Mount-Wilson-Greenville-Washington

The Vanderbuilt (2 daily - EKCSAE) Raleigh-Cary-Greensboro-Salisbury-Statesville-HIckory-Morganton-Asheville

Piedmont (6 daily - EKCCVE) Raleigh-Cary-Burlington-Greensboro-High Point-Salisbury-Kannapolis-Charlotte

Piedmont Express (3 daily - EBCCVE) Raleigh-Charlotte [Non-stop; Uses ACWR line]

The Bragg (3 daily - EKCVE) Raleigh-Fuquay Varina-Fayetteville

BeachGoer (2 daily - ECCSBE) Raleigh-Selma-Goldsboro-Warsaw-Wilmington

Carolinian (6 daily - EBKCCSCDE) Charlotte-New York

Number of Trains per day..

Raleigh (28); Charlotte (9); Cary (10); Salisbury (8); Greensboro (8); Burlington (6); High Point (6); Kannapolis (6); Goldsboro (4); Selma (4): Fuquay Varina (3); Fayetteville (3); New Bern (2); Havelock (2); Morehead City (2); Kinston (2); Warsaw (2); Wilmington (2); Statesville (2); Hickory (2); Morganton (2); Asheville (2); Greenville (2); Washington (2); Wake Forest (2); Roanoke Rapids (2); Suffolk (2); Cheseapake (2); Norfolk (2)

So, what do you think?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Gastonia is planning a new multi-modal transit center. While initial upgrades appear to be focused on improving inter and intra city bus transportation and Amtrak (the middle of the night Crescent service is all they have at the moment) they are also including capacity for commuter rail to Charlotte (but not in the first phase of construction). Kudos to Gaston county for preparing for commuter rail.

http://charlotte.biz...tml?t=printable

On a related note NCDOT estimates the cost of restoring the Piedmont Northern line from Charlotte to Gastonia to passenger service levels to be $13.2 million -- when compared to other rail projects this appears to be cheap. Does anyone know if the state has already budgeted the first phase of these improvements since the line has been leased? While Gaston county appears to want commuter service to Charlotte, the PN line its not as direct a route to Charlotte as the NS mainline so competition with buses and cars may be tough.

http://www.bytrain.o...ort_15Jan08.pdf (the document is from January 2009)

EDIT: Anyone know how NS would feel about extending Piedmont service to Gastonia? While such a plan is probably unrealistic given the new new turn around facilities under construction in Charlotte such adjustments may be necessary if the SEHSR is ever completed to Atlanta (I would think the Crescent would disappear at that point).

Edited by kermit
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Sorry about echoing a press release but things are so quiet around here....

"Amtrak" ridership is way up nationwide, but North Carolina leads the way.

The state-owned Piedmont, which travels four times daily between Raleigh and Charlotte, had the largest percentage increase in the nation at 46 percent.

[url=http://www.bizjournals.com/triangle/stories/2010/10/11/daily69.html?ana=e_du_pap#ixzz12ShJhyeW]'>http://www.bizjournals.com/triangle/stories/2010/10/11/daily69.html?ana=e_du_pap#ixzz12ShJhyeW]

Admittedly the growth isn't really a fair measure since it is partially a result of new mid-day service on the line.

Revenue on the Piedmont grew by 39% (the disparity between ridership and revenue growth may have been driven by the half price June ticket sale). Revenue on the Carolinian grew by 18%.

http://www.bizjournals.com/triangle/stories/2010/10/11/daily69.html?ana=e_du_pap

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EDIT: Anyone know how NS would feel about extending Piedmont service to Gastonia? While such a plan is probably unrealistic given the new new turn around facilities under construction in Charlotte such adjustments may be necessary if the SEHSR is ever completed to Atlanta (I would think the Crescent would disappear at that point).

Norfolk Southern seems generally willing to work with governments for track access, at a fair price.

Why would the Crescent disappear? SEHSR is just somewhat faster diesel-hauled trains; even the faster Northeast Corridor has an overnight train (these days without a sleeping car) and plenty of Boston to Washington trains, and Boston to Virginia trains, which are long hauls.

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Why would the Crescent disappear? SEHSR is just somewhat faster diesel-hauled trains; even the faster Northeast Corridor has an overnight train (these days without a sleeping car) and plenty of Boston to Washington trains, and Boston to Virginia trains, which are long hauls.

You make sense, I had just assumed that all the additional capacity on the SEHSR the late night (and slow) train would disappear, I have absolutely no inside information.

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So...who has got the leaks for NCRR'S Tiger II applications? Someone must be on the "inside"....

I can't wait until "the middle of next week" (-Ray LaHood)

The silence is deafening.....

At least NC did well in earlier rounds of stimulus funding (HSR grants and the Charlotte streetcar).

Having said that, I will admit to being a really bad prognosticator.

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So...who has got the leaks for NCRR'S Tiger II applications? Someone must be on the "inside"....

I can't wait until "the middle of next week" (-Ray LaHood)

And North Carolina gets.....

Two planning grants:

1) Asheville NC East Riverside Sustainable Multi-Modal Neighborhood $850,000

2) Lexington Multi-Modal Transportation Station Area Plan $700,000

The lists of recipients are here: http://www.dot.gov/affairs/2010/dot18810.html

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Gastonia is planning a new multi-modal transit center. While initial upgrades appear to be focused on improving inter and intra city bus transportation and Amtrak (the middle of the night Crescent service is all they have at the moment) they are also including capacity for commuter rail to Charlotte (but not in the first phase of construction). Kudos to Gaston county for preparing for commuter rail.

http://charlotte.biz...tml?t=printable

On a related note NCDOT estimates the cost of restoring the Piedmont Northern line from Charlotte to Gastonia to passenger service levels to be $13.2 million -- when compared to other rail projects this appears to be cheap. Does anyone know if the state has already budgeted the first phase of these improvements since the line has been leased? While Gaston county appears to want commuter service to Charlotte, the PN line its not as direct a route to Charlotte as the NS mainline so competition with buses and cars may be tough.

http://www.bytrain.o...ort_15Jan08.pdf (the document is from January 2009)

EDIT: Anyone know how NS would feel about extending Piedmont service to Gastonia? While such a plan is probably unrealistic given the new new turn around facilities under construction in Charlotte such adjustments may be necessary if the SEHSR is ever completed to Atlanta (I would think the Crescent would disappear at that point).

I'm glad to see Gastonia is planning a transit center. Commuter rail to Gastonia has always seemed like a no-brainer, and would be relatively cheap to implement.

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And North Carolina gets.....

Two planning grants:

1) Asheville NC East Riverside Sustainable Multi-Modal Neighborhood $850,000

2) Lexington Multi-Modal Transportation Station Area Plan $700,000

The lists of recipients are here: http://www.dot.gov/affairs/2010/dot18810.html

The TIGER II grants probably aren't really what we're waiting for. We're waiting for the HSIPR grants where the $2.375 billion in FY2010 HSR money will be awarded. NC wants to build $290 million in projects: Charlotte Gateway Station, finally moving trains downtown; a new yard and wye south of the new station to service and turn the trains; new stations in Lexington and Hillsborough; grade separations at 36th and Sugar Creek in Charlotte; and a grade separation at Blue Ridge Road in Raleigh. NC will be responsible for 20% of the bill of whatever it is awarded.

It is likely that an announcement on these will be made before the election.

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The TIGER II grants probably aren't really what we're waiting for. We're waiting for the HSIPR grants where the $2.375 billion in FY2010 HSR money will be awarded. NC wants to build $290 million in projects: Charlotte Gateway Station, finally moving trains downtown; a new yard and wye south of the new station to service and turn the trains; new stations in Lexington and Hillsborough; grade separations at 36th and Sugar Creek in Charlotte; and a grade separation at Blue Ridge Road in Raleigh. NC will be responsible for 20% of the bill of whatever it is awarded.

It is likely that an announcement on these will be made before the election.

Thanks for the reminder, its good to have something to look forward to.

Was the Charlotte layover / service yard funded as part of last year's HSIPR windfall? http://www.bytrain.org/arra/NCARRAHSIPR_Project_ListbyCounty_2_15_2010.pdf (item 10?)

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Was the Charlotte layover / service yard funded as part of last year's HSIPR windfall? http://www.bytrain.org/arra/NCARRAHSIPR_Project_ListbyCounty_2_15_2010.pdf (item 10?)

You're right, the land acquisition, and the first phase of the construction for the Charlotte yard are funded by ARRA. Good point.

A new wye at Charlotte Junction for turning trains, and a third track between the wye and Gateway Station are in NC's list of FY10 requests. Both are probably prerequisites for train service at Gateway Station.

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As for the situation in downtown Raleigh, things have been quiet lately. Opposition to NC3 was pretty vocal in five points. The city government and Glenwood South didn't like NC1/2.

A couple alternatives were proposed by members of the public. Notably, one called NC4 seems promising. It calls for abandoning the current CSX alignment, and replacing it with a three-track viaduct about a block further north. It does impact some property, but mostly low density industrial buildings that are "redevelopment fodder" anyway.

20100910_GIS_5_5_degree_viaduct_cropped_773width.jpg

Presumably it's under review by DOT.

This solves the biggest weakness of NC1/2, namely the closing of West and Harrington streets. It leaves one blaring problem, though: the Edgeton Diamond where the CSX and HSR tracks will cross the NS at grade. However, a quick glance at topo maps reveals that this could be grade separated as well. The tracks would wind up a few feet higher at Whitaker Mill Road, making the grade separation there more complicated. Whitaker Mill would probably need to be tunneled under the tracks instead of bridged over it.

Another benefit of this plan is that the street grid between West and Capital could be expanded. If Triangle Transit puts their light rail line elsewhere (such as Salisbury and Wilmington Streets--where it belongs, IMO) the land currently occupied by CSX could then be sold and redeveloped.

I made a google map to give an idea of what would be involved.

3 properties assessed at $1.3 million would probably be needed for the CSX+HSR / NS grade separataion.

10 or 11 properties assessed at $15.7 million would have to be acquired for construction of the viaduct. Several street connections could be achieved with this land alone. (Johnson Street connection, Tucker Street extension to Harrington, and a long curving extension of North Street over the existing CSX bridge to Peace Street). Eliminating the

By acquiring 5 additional properties valued at $5.7 million, the street grid could be completed by extending Lane westward from Harrington to West, and extending Harrington north to Peace.

It's a lot of properties and a lot of money, but IMO worth it for eliminating the grade crossings, and setting the stage for the future development of Glenwood South.

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At the City of Raleigh Passenger Rail Task Force today NCRR President Scott Saylor announced that the North Carolina Railroad had committed its own funds for double tracking from Fetner (Cary Station) to Clegg. Federal High Speed Rail funds have already funded Clegg to Nelson. Double tracking will stop at the I-40 bridge at the edge of RTP. Saylor said the Clegg to Fetner leg has just had an RFP issued by NCRR for preliminary engineering, construction to be finished by late 2013. Fetner (Cary) to Boylan is already double tracked.

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Whoa, that's a bombshell. Was this a surprise or did the PRTF, NCDOT, or anybody know this was coming? A few comments. In any case, this is great news!

Fetner to Nelson (I-40) will be 9.5 miles of new double track.

The stimulus applications estimate the cost of all the work through there as over $81 million:

Morrisville Parkway grade separation: $16.0 million

Hopson Road grade separation: $13.9 million

Double track Clegg to Nelson: $8.8 million

Double track Fetner to Clegg: $42.4 million (this is the part that was just announced.)

NCRR has been spending their money on studying this, too, so by chipping in $42 million they are really demonstrating that they want this commuter rail thing to happen.

Based on track charts submitted for the ARRA, it looks like the second track will be built to the south of the existing one. The NCRR platform at Cary station will be converted to an island platform, which means they will need some sort of vertical circulation, like a bridge, to get from the station to the platform. This will doubtless chew up a row of parking spaces in the parking lot, but that's no big deal since there are plenty of parking spaces already, and more parking spaces across Academy from the station are already planned.

The recently completed bridge over 54 and the planned briges at Hopson and Morrisville Parkway will be wide enough for two tracks. That leaves only one existing single track bridge in this segment, Crabtree Creek. It looks especially rickety, probably 100+ years old, so maybe they'll replace it outright with a modern ballasted deck bridge that also doesn't constrict the creek so much.

Some curves will be realigned for 90mph, but the worst ones (around Cary Parkway and Morrisville Parkway) will not.

Wonder what they're going to do at Morrisville Carpenter Road? The town of Morrisville just spent a bunch of money to improve the crossing and install new gates.

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The TIGER II grants probably aren't really what we're waiting for. We're waiting for the HSIPR grants where the $2.375 billion in FY2010 HSR money will be awarded. NC wants to build $290 million in projects: Charlotte Gateway Station, finally moving trains downtown; a new yard and wye south of the new station to service and turn the trains; new stations in Lexington and Hillsborough; grade separations at 36th and Sugar Creek in Charlotte; and a grade separation at Blue Ridge Road in Raleigh. NC will be responsible for 20% of the bill of whatever it is awarded.

It is likely that an announcement on these will be made before the election.

Looks like bad news for NC HSR projects: http://www.thetransp...igh-speed-line/

Given the significant ridership improvements North Carolina has generated from its steady investments in the Charlotte to Raleigh route it is really disappointing to see us strike out on the second round while Florida get $2 billion from both grants. There is no evidence to suggest that central Floridians are willing to embrace HSR, especially when transit on each end of the Tampa - Orlando route is so poor.

There is $4 million for planning CLT to ATL HSR: http://www.ajc.com/n...g-4-691282.html given the long standing antagonism of Georgia DOT to any type of passenger rail combined with South Carolina's total unwillingness to invest in any type of infrastructure this strikes me as $4 million down the drain.

EDIT: I spoke too soon. Looks like the official announcement included $23 million for Gateway station and a "new bridge"

http://www.thetransp...fornia/#respond (see the table). Apologies for my premature whining.

If these early reports are true then I am really disappointed with this round of the awards process, NCDOT earned much more than they received.

Edited by kermit
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Many of the Amtrak services in NC are now available in Google Transit. Check it out! The ones included at the moment are the Piedmont and Carolinian. All Amtrak NEC services are included as well, excluding the long distance trains (Palmetto, Silver Star, and Silver Meteor.)

Reportedly, the Triangle area transit agencies should be up on Google Transit in about two weeks. Triad agencies are working on it, too, but no idea the schedule.

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Good Cary News story about the Monday groundbreaking for the Cary Station expansion. It's a $2.2 million project, will expand the station to include baggage handling, ticket office, and a larger waiting room. Parking will be expanded, and Platform A (the Raleigh-Charlotte platform) will be lengthened by 200 feet. Much of the current parking is taken up by Town of Cary vehicles -- which will be moved to a new lot between the two rail lines east of the station. Project completion is expected August 2011.

Edited by staffer
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Good Cary News story about the Monday groundbreaking for the Cary Station expansion. It's a $2.2 million project, will expand the station to include baggage handling, ticket office, and a larger waiting room. Parking will be expanded, and Platform A (the Raleigh-Charlotte platform) will be lengthened by 200 feet. Much of the current parking is taken up by Town of Cary vehicles -- which will be moved to a new lot between the two rail lines east of the station. Project completion is expected August 2011.

Good news for Cary. But about the platform- - why do any platform expansion at all when it will just be torn up for the Fetner-Clegg double tracking in a couple years anyway? Still wondering what Cary Station will look like after the double tracking is complete, and how access will be provided across the tracks.

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