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Charlotte's Light Rail: Lynx Blue Line


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It's good to finally join Urban Planet and see that this thread provides the most up-to-date info on Charlotte's rail infrastructure. 

 

Since the CSX/NS grade separation at ADM is NOT going to occur anytime this decade, something crossed my mind as I drove along 12 Street the other day where I could see brush clearing had already begun for the BLE:

 

How will BLE cross the CSX mainline around Alpha Mill Lane? (my apologies for not knowing how to yet paste satellite images from Google Maps):

 

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Alpha+Mill+Lane,+Charlotte,+NC&hl=en&ll=35.232783,-80.8306&spn=0.001809,0.002642&sll=35.258522,-80.795855&sspn=0.003618,0.005284&oq=alpha+mill&t=h&hnear=Alpha+Mill+Ln,+Charlotte,+Mecklenburg,+North+Carolina&z=19

 

Will BLE have its own bridge similar to where the Blue Line crosses over the NS "A" Line near Tyvola Station?  (apologies again for lack of tech savvy):

 

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=28209&hl=en&ll=35.161239,-80.876777&spn=0.003622,0.005284&sll=35.170517,-79.860994&sspn=5.243582,10.821533&hnear=Charlotte,+North+Carolina+28209&t=h&z=18

 

Any update is appreciated!  

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Just some before and after photos of the view of uptown and the blue line from 11th street. Definitely a big difference!

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It's good to finally join Urban Planet and see that this thread provides the most up-to-date info on Charlotte's rail infrastructure. 

 

Since the CSX/NS grade separation at ADM is NOT going to occur anytime this decade, something crossed my mind as I drove along 12 Street the other day where I could see brush clearing had already begun for the BLE:

 

How will BLE cross the CSX mainline around Alpha Mill Lane? (my apologies for not knowing how to yet paste satellite images from Google Maps):

 

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Alpha+Mill+Lane,+Charlotte,+NC&hl=en&ll=35.232783,-80.8306&spn=0.001809,0.002642&sll=35.258522,-80.795855&sspn=0.003618,0.005284&oq=alpha+mill&t=h&hnear=Alpha+Mill+Ln,+Charlotte,+Mecklenburg,+North+Carolina&z=19

 

Will BLE have its own bridge similar to where the Blue Line crosses over the NS "A" Line near Tyvola Station?  (apologies again for lack of tech savvy):

 

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=28209&hl=en&ll=35.161239,-80.876777&spn=0.003622,0.005284&sll=35.170517,-79.860994&sspn=5.243582,10.821533&hnear=Charlotte,+North+Carolina+28209&t=h&z=18

 

Any update is appreciated!  

 

 

Looks like they will build a bridge over the CSX line.

 

http://charmeck.org/city/charlotte/cats/planning/BLE/overview/Documents/2012%2012%20-%20LYNX%20BLE%20Project%20Layout%20Map-A.pdf

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Many thanks for the quick responses y'all...

 

Another question, this time about NS Charlotte Yard.  Does CATS have an option to buy the ENTIRE yard now that CLT Airport Yard has sorted/delivered its first freight shipment?  Or is the option for just a portion of the yard?

 

Source:

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/charlotte-lynx-blue-line-extension-light-rail-project-reaches-major-milestone-with-north-carolina-railroad-agreement-151778585.html

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Seriously doubt it considering the city wants to move the Amtrak station to Uptown

See page 27 of the Gateway Station blog for more, but the Heavy Rail portion of that project is all but dead because:

 

1) NCDOT cannot build the NS/CSX grade separation at ADM junction for various reasons

2) The developer Hines walked away too citing lack of land for development

 

So rather than spending $1 Billion or so trying to get Heavy Rail to an non-existent uptown Gateway Station, isn't a pedestrian bridge over Tryon Yard a much more feasible and less-costly option so people can get from BLE to Amtrak???

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I was told the grade separation project might not have been as important as we originally thought and the heavy rail portion (Amtrak) will move forward with or without the project. The maintenance facility is being built with the current funds so the same amount of trains will have to move through the diamond regardless.

I'm told the lack of land is due to additional tracks which were not in the original plan.

Alex

Edited by ajfunder
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See page 27 of the Gateway Station blog for more, but the Heavy Rail portion of that project is all but dead because:

 

1) NCDOT cannot build the NS/CSX grade separation at ADM junction for various reasons

2) The developer Hines walked away too citing lack of land for development

 

So rather than spending $1 Billion or so trying to get Heavy Rail to an non-existent uptown Gateway Station, isn't a pedestrian bridge over Tryon Yard a much more feasible and less-costly option so people can get from BLE to Amtrak???

I see no scenario where they invest money building a bridge (a huge bridge at that) to that dump of a station.

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See page 27 of the Gateway Station blog for more, but the Heavy Rail portion of that project is all but dead because:

 

1) NCDOT cannot build the NS/CSX grade separation at ADM junction for various reasons

2) The developer Hines walked away too citing lack of land for development

 

So rather than spending $1 Billion or so trying to get Heavy Rail to an non-existent uptown Gateway Station, isn't a pedestrian bridge over Tryon Yard a much more feasible and less-costly option so people can get from BLE to Amtrak???

 

Not quite sure what the name of the Southern's yard is, but in general "Tryon Yard" refers to the small CSX storage yard in front of the old SAL/SCL station, not the Southern's main yard on Tryon.

Edited by TotalLamer
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Not quite sure what the name of the Southern's yard is, but in general "Tryon Yard" refers to the small CSX storage yard in front of the old SAL/SCL station, not the Southern's main yard on Tryon.

Splitting hairs, but the CSX yard there is called Tryon Street Yard. You forgot the street.

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I was told the grade separation project might not have been as important as we originally thought and the heavy rail portion (Amtrak) will move forward with or without the project. The maintenance facility is being built with the current funds so the same amount of trains will have to move through the diamond regardless.

I'm told the lack of land is due to additional tracks which were not in the original plan.

Alex

Amtrak obviously wouldn't have the frequency of the Red Line so I can see how the Carolinian service could continue without necessitating the grade separation project... but if NCDOT wants more frequencies for their own state-funded Piedmont service, why wouldn't they fund their own grade separation project?  The cost exceeds the approved ARRA amounts?

Edited by ChessieCat
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Amtrak obviously wouldn't have the frequency of the Red Line so I can see how the Carolinian service could continue without necessitating the grade separation project... but if NCDOT wants more frequencies for their own state-funded Piedmont service, why wouldn't they fund their own grade separation project?  The cost exceeds the approved ARRA amounts?

NCDOT does not have a mechanism in place to fund large scale rail improvement projects.  Therefore, without ARRA, it would have been impossible under current programs to do a project like the Mainline Grade Separation.  ARRA had a fuse on it and projects needed to be completed by 2017.....making it really difficult to complete the preliminary engineering, including incorporating the needs of three....THREE....Fortune 500 companies.  NS controls the dispatching at Graham interlocking which would give trains on the NS mainline priority....over the CSX trains.  Thus, CSX may have been the primary beneficiary of the project.  Even without the project, the NS main can likely accommodate the near term increase in passenger trains through Graham.  Thus, CGS can still move forward without the MLGS.  Consider that there are at-grade crossings in Chicago that carry over 100 freight, Metra commuter, and Amtrak trains every day.  At the end of the day, it boils down to dispatching and scheduling.

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The relocation of the NS intermodal yard also helps because previously, a decent amount of traffic across the diamond involved them just going backwards and forwards switching the ramp.  With the ramp relocated, that traffic will no longer occur.

Edited by TotalLamer
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What do people think of the City Council's decision to allow an Auto Mall to be constructed near IKEA within a half-mile of the University City Boulevard BLE stop?

 

http://mecktimes.com/news/2013/12/19/city-council-approves-auto-mall-along-future-light-rail/

Defying decade-old planning principles, City Council rezones 40 acres near future light rail stop

 

But to be fair, Arden group will vacate it's current property near the Tom Hunter BLE stop that will be rezoned for TOD... 

Edited by ChessieCat
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What do people think of the City Council's decision to allow an Auto Mall to be constructed near IKEA within a half-mile of the University City Boulevard BLE stop?

 

http://mecktimes.com/news/2013/12/19/city-council-approves-auto-mall-along-future-light-rail/

Defying decade-old planning principles, City Council rezones 40 acres near future light rail stop

 

But to be fair, Arden group will vacate it's current property near the Tom Hunter BLE stop that will be rezoned for TOD... 

 

No one likes it. 

 

Edit: Also, Arden Group could have relocated to another location and UC Partners could have worked to make that happen rather than wasting this large plot of vacant land near the BLE.

Edited by MilZ
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What do people think of the City Council's decision to allow an Auto Mall to be constructed near IKEA within a half-mile of the University City Boulevard BLE stop?

 

http://mecktimes.com/news/2013/12/19/city-council-approves-auto-mall-along-future-light-rail/

Defying decade-old planning principles, City Council rezones 40 acres near future light rail stop

 

But to be fair, Arden group will vacate it's current property near the Tom Hunter BLE stop that will be rezoned for TOD... 

insulting.

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Just out of curiosity....whats the reasons for the opposition? 

 

 

Auto mall's aren't typically synonymous with Transit oriented development.  And if one of the goals of the BLE is to generate urban density (even as far out as university) allowing an auto mall to be built after the be BLE is under construction kind of goes completely against that ideology.  There are plenty of other places in the city where an auto mall could go.

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