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North Carolina Intercity Rail Transit

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14 minutes ago, tozmervo said:

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 to reduce trip length.

IIRC NCDOT has an agreement with CSX to purchase the line (meaning its a done deal), but NC has not yet found the money to pay for it. I don't believe there is any risk to the transaction falling apart, it was just that neither party was in a big hurry to close the deal (partly because NC was waiting on VADOT to decide about its portion of the route). Once in operation, the tracks should cut more than an hour off Raleigh-DC trips.

Edited by kermit

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11 minutes ago, jthomas said:

 I can't quite make out how the RF&P portion works. It says VA is acquiring 1/2 of the entire ROW and 39 miles of track. I'm guessing that CSX retains the existing double track, and VA gets any existing additional tracks as well as any additional track in the future (there are an additional 37 miles planned as of now).

You are correct in your assumption. There are plans to complete construction of the remaining portions of third main between DC and Fredericksburg. Fourth track construction will happen in conjunction with the construction of the new Long Bridge between Union Station and Alexandria. Additional main and siding tracks will be built incrementally between a Richmond and Fredericksburg. 

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Proposed or done deal?

I remember signing up for snail-mail updates from NCDOT regarding SEHSR circa 2002. I think it was supposed to be done in 2015? 2020 at the latest. I'd give it another twenty years and maybe we'll be chugging through Norlina at the blazing speed of 79 mph. Which will actually be a huge improvement due to the current routing.

Edited by cowboy_wilhelm

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2 hours ago, cowboy_wilhelm said:

Proposed or done deal?

I remember signing up for snail-mail updates from NCDOT regarding SEHSR circa 2002. I think it was supposed to be done in 2015? 2020 at the latest. I'd give it another twenty years and maybe we'll be chugging through Norlina at the blazing speed of 79 mph. Which will actually be a huge improvement due to the current routing.

Done deal as far as VA is concerned. NCDOT will now pursue final negotiations for the S-Line. In terms of speed, 79mph is the goal for now. I could see the non-CSX maintained portions between Norlina and Petersburg possibly reaching 90mph.  Raleigh commuter rail will be a part of the negotiations as well.

Raleigh Union Station was designed with future S-Line service in mind, and NCDOT is actively grade separating every busy at-grade crossing along the S-Line in Wake County that’s feasible. The future is bright. 

Edited by Seaboard Fellow
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It appears this was one portion of Virginia's Amazon incentives package: https://www.bizjournals.com/washington/news/2019/12/19/virginia-csx-strike-3-7b-deal-to-massively-expand.html

Quote

Northam made the announcement from 241 18th St., a building owned by JBG Smith Properties (NYSE: JBGS) and leased to Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN). More commuter trains would open up Northern Virginia, and HQ2, to regions of the state where Interstate 95 is the primary route, said Katie Cristol, Arlington County Board member and chair of the Virginia Railway Express Operations Board.

 

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NCDOT publicly took notice.

Deal Advances on Southeast Rail Corridor
 

If I'm mathing right...
"acquiring approximately 350 miles of CSXT right-of-way and 225 miles of track"

(575 Miles)
"$525 million of the $3.7 billion will be paid to CSXT over the next three years for the acquisition of property and track"

(roughly $1 million per mile)
 

It's about 55 miles from Raleigh to Ridgeway, so... maybe $55 million for NCDOT to acquire? Probably more since it's an active and operational line. I don't know what the construction estimates are. As mentioned, several grade separation projects are already funded in Wake County. But it will still cost a lot to bring the existing tracks up to Class 4.

Too bad NCDOT's financial situation is so dismal right now.

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(they force you to allocate some funds to congestion reduction. That is a totally BS survey technique.

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16 hours ago, kermit said:

 

(they force you to allocate some funds to congestion reduction. That is a totally BS survey technique.

They also force an allocation for "safety." Unless it's for ATC/PTC/ACSES, or a public education campaign around respecting the train's ROW or the added safety that improves speeds and reliability of the system . . . I'm not interested.

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2 hours ago, cowboy_wilhelm said:

NCDOT appears to be looking for ways to acquire their portion of the S-Line. An Incremental Service Development Plan will be completed this Spring to identify grant opportunities and the phasing of future improvements.

NCDOT Rail Division Update (March 4, 2020)

Excellent! Plus a possible bonus mention of using the S-Line for commuter rail south of Raleigh also! (slide 6). Intercity service from Raleigh to Southern Pines is also shown as a "Planned Passenger Rail Project" on the map on p21. Other "Planned Passenger Rail Project" are shown to Winston-Salem and Fayetteville (as well as Asheville and Wilmington).

Edited by kermit
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This is good stuff. Depending on election results in November, it's possible that federal transportation funding could place a much greater emphasis on rail. I'm glad to see that the state is well into planning projects that could be accelerated by more federal money. It helps that the biggest projects for the state (S-line/SEHSR, and maybe Charlotte-Atlanta too) would likely be high priorities in a scenario of large-scale federal rail investment.

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While NCDOT temporarily reduced Piedmont frequencies, based on the equipment set laying over in Charlotte this afternoon, it looks like they have doubled (or more) consist size. I would bet this was a desire to increase the ability of passengers to social distance, rather than any ridership pressure.  

One of the luxuries of NC owning its own equipment.

 

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