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Sabaidee

Charlotte Center City Streetcar Network

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31 minutes ago, kermit said:

Phase 2 ends between Sunnyside and Central so before the light. 

Light rail / streetcar vehicles are not allowed to cross ‘real’ rail tracks at grade for any reason. The phase 3 plan remains (afaik) to cross Central, run down Hawthorne and go under CSX and then turn right (east) through the Barnhardt Manufacturing land. I think it returns to Central using Clement. This is kinda wonky but I don’t believe that thinking has changed on this since the initial sketch design.

I assume there's no way in Hell this might get some sort of exemption? Only reason being that this seems like a definite cost burden, plus, selfishly, it would look cool running in front of my building. Though where phase 2 will stop is more than convenient for me, and I will more than likely be in this building, either alone or with my roommate when it opens. 

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Nope, the FTA would never grant an exemption. Even if he’ll froze over and they did it anyway, CSX would never allow Light rail to touch its active tracks. 

Edited by kermit
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8 hours ago, kermit said:

Nope, the FTA would never grant an exemption. Even if he’ll froze over and that did, CSX would never allow it to happen.

Honestly I don't see what the issue is, freight and passenger tracks cross each-other all the time. They're called diamond crossings. It just seems that this layout will add unnecessary cost to the project, add time to the route, and be kind of weird going down a very tight side street. There's already not enough room to drive two wide down Clement, much less run a two track streetcar route. Whats the risk with crossing a freight track? Follow bus rules. I guess if anything this will be a unique route because of this, but still, knowing how overly cautious CATS is, I can guarantee this "kink" will be a nightmare. My only "hope" might be that the manufacturing plants sees the increased value of the land and sells to a developer. I hate to see industry leave, but at the same time that land could be better utilized as TOD. 

Diamond Crossing.jpg

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^ The issue isn’t the tracks, its the vehicles.  The FTA has a separate set of regulations for transit vehicles that allows them to be significantly lighter than ‘real’ rail cars (for passengers).  In order for the FTA to permit the lighter vehicles they stipulated that the LRT vehicles could NEVER be commingled with ‘real’ rail since the risk of collision was grave for occupants of the lighter vehicles. 

This is an area of regulation that the US is really bad at, every other country of the world has lighter rail equipment and fewer regulations about commingling (they protect against collision with better signaling). These strength/weight requirements are also part of the reason why we don't have true HSR here — our ‘real’ rail cars are tanks and it takes lots of power to get them up to speed.

Edited by kermit
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5 hours ago, nicholas said:

^Is there any chance that the streetcar lanes will be dedicated just to the streetcar? Clearly there's plenty of room for a dedicated vehicular lane, and I feel like the west side of Trade St isn't heavily traveled enough to warrant four vehicle lanes.

Certainly a candidate for a future push to do so. These days I doubt it would have traction... But give it 10-15 years...? 

Edited by SgtCampsalot
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On 7/3/2019 at 12:50 PM, kermit said:

^ The issue isn’t the tracks, its the vehicles.  The FTA has a separate set of regulations for transit vehicles that allows them to be significantly lighter than ‘real’ rail cars (for passengers).  In order for the FTA to permit the lighter vehicles they stipulated that the LRT vehicles could NEVER be commingled with ‘real’ rail since the risk of collision was grave for occupants of the lighter vehicles. 

This is an area of regulation that the US is really bad at, every other country of the world has lighter rail equipment and fewer regulations about commingling (they protect against collision with better signaling). These strength/weight requirements are also part of the reason why we don't have true HSR here — our ‘real’ rail cars are tanks and it takes lots of power to get them up to speed.

sounds like an opportunity for the current administration to deregulate!

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