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Charlotte Gateway Station and Railroad Improvements

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Thanks for that. I was thinking that now that the developer has been selected, we might see something more definitive in the coming months.

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Thanks for that. I was thinking that now that the developer has been selected, we might see something more definitive in the coming months.

The agreement between the developer and the State hasn't been executed. After that happens, the master plan consultant will be selected, then prepare the plan. Design could begin by 2014, no earlier. Look for renderings in 2015 IMO.

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Hmm... I wouldn't be surprised if Southport was the reason CSX built the expanded yard in Wilmington.

CSX did not build any new yard or expand the existing yard (Davis Yard which is actually in Leland) in Wilmington.

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ahh, it all makes perfect sense now. Panama Canal widening plus, the emphasis on fast service to CLT from every major Southern port combined with (what appears to be) very limited intermodal capacity for CSX in Atlanta really does translate into heavy increases in intermodal traffic in Charlotte. The presence of two major intermodal hubs here is really going to kickstart manufacturing in the region.

 

RE Commuter Rail: I suspect that commuter rail is not on CSX's radar. If it was they certainly would have approached CATS / the state for passenger rail funds to pay for the double tracking. Perhaps the NCDOT rail division still has the wherewithall to get CSX to align its new track such that station turnouts can be accomdated in the future.

 

While there is a conneciton between CSX and NCRR / NS near Tryon street it does not allow for commuter trains from Monroe to get to Gateway station (they would need to reverse nearly a mile through the NS yards to the current Amtrak station and then head towards Gateway). From what I have seen of the grade seperation, building a new connection to Gateway from the CSX is highly unlikely. If commuter rail ever staarted on the route I suspect that the Charlotte terminal would need to be built behind the  Alpha Mill at the BLE. If you really get carried away I suspose you could build new tracks from the CSX along the BLE row, under 277 and build a terminal in the Levine town (beside the Hal Marshal annex). This could allow for commuters to walk to the north half of town or get the blue line at 9th street.

CSX is not interested in running passenger service on its right of way. There's no money in it for the Class 1 RR's. Passenger service gets in the way of the revenue service (freight). The only reason Amtrack runs over these rails now is because of prior rights/agreements with the goverment.

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CSX did not build any new yard or expand the existing yard (Davis Yard which is actually in Leland) in Wilmington.

 

No?

 

I was told by uhhh... I think my MCT (Manager of Conductor Training) that they had built and/or overhauled this big new yard in Wilmington in anticipation of a bunch of new customer traffic, but it was sitting mostly unused because the traffic never materialized.  I distinctly remember him saying there's a Yardmaster's Tower in the yard, but it's never used and the Yardmaster just works out of the crew room because the yard is so empty.

Edited by TotalLamer

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No?

 

I was told by uhhh... I think my MCT (Manager of Conductor Training) that they had built and/or overhauled this big new yard in Wilmington in anticipation of a bunch of new customer traffic, but it was sitting mostly unused because the traffic never materialized.  I distinctly remember him saying there's a Yardmaster's Tower in the yard, but it's never used and the Yardmaster just works out of the crew room because the yard is so empty.

You are correct about the Yardmaster Tower. It's been there since the yard was built back in the 70's. Davis Yard is bigger than Pinoca, but a lot of the tracks there are out of service. There's still quite a bit of traffic that comes into the yard, so no it's not empty. It may appear that way because the yard use to support 5 main lines in and out of the area and now a lot of those tracks are not needed. Now it only has the one to Hamlet.

Regarding the yardmasters use of the tower. They were moved out of the tower years ago because the trainmaster made it his office. Now the tower is really in bad shape and therefore not used anymore. CSX has gone away from using a lot of these towers now because of technology. With cameras everywhere there's really no need for them anymore. Hamlet's Yard B tower has been vacant for several years. That yard is definitely not empty.

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You are correct about the Yardmaster Tower. It's been there since the yard was built back in the 70's. Davis Yard is bigger than Pinoca, but a lot of the tracks there are out of service. There's still quite a bit of traffic that comes into the yard, so no it's not empty. It may appear that way because the yard use to support 5 main lines in and out of the area and now a lot of those tracks are not needed. Now it only has the one to Hamlet.

Regarding the yardmasters use of the tower. They were moved out of the tower years ago because the trainmaster made it his office. Now the tower is really in bad shape and therefore not used anymore. CSX has gone away from using a lot of these towers now because of technology. With cameras everywhere there's really no need for them anymore. Hamlet's Yard B tower has been vacant for several years. That yard is definitely not empty.

 

Huh, guess he was wrong then.

 

Yeah, just went and looked at some aerial pics of Davis... place is HUGE compared to Pinoca.  Granted, everywhere is huge compared to Pinoca.  Smallest.  Yard.  Ever.  It's in terrible shape too, the south ladder especially.

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The agreement between the developer and the State [for Gateway Station]  hasn't been executed. After that happens, the master plan consultant will be selected, then prepare the plan. Design could begin by 2014, no earlier. Look for renderings in 2015 IMO.

 

I had originally thought that the financing plan for Gateway Station was that NCDOT would provide a large chunk of its land along the tracks to the developer and, in return for the land, the developer would build Gateway along with their own development projects on the site. Thus there would be no major cash outlay necessary from the state. 

 

Did I just imagine this financing setup?  Could funding issues substantially delay this project at this point?

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I think the state has to pay for track, bridge, platform and other various work. The number I heard was the state would contribute about $200 million towards various projects related to Gateway.

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If the Charlotte station costs $200-million I doubt that it will pale in comparison to what Denver is doing.

Heh Heh, 200 is nothing. That's just the states contribution. The entire Gateway Station and related projects is expected to be an investment north of 1 billion dollars by Hines, the City of Charlotte and the State of NC.

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Heh Heh, 200 is nothing. That's just the states contribution. The entire Gateway Station and related projects is expected to be an investment north of 1 billion dollars by Hines, the City of Charlotte and the State of NC.

Thus the core of my question. How much do we need to sweat the very right-leaning state being able to find the cash for a new downtown station when the very cool plans finally get released.

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Thus the core of my question. How much do we need to sweat the very right-leaning state being able to find the cash for a new downtown station when the very cool plans finally get released.

Very, be very afraid. Hopefully US Transportation Director (or whatever) Foxx will come to the rescue.

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Well, if the state has already committed $200-million, and Hines clearly has skin in the game, i don't see the problem.

I'm excited about Hines being in on this project. They are also developing this beautiful building accross from my office.

untitled-2401.jpg

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^Tease, was thinking this would be a new project to adjoin Bearden..   :)

I guess I should mention I live and work in New York City. lol. Sorry.

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Well, if the state has already committed $200-million, and Hines clearly has skin in the game, i don't see the problem.

 

the problem is that the state has not committed $200 million yet.

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I think the state has to pay for track, bridge, platform and other various work. The number I heard was the state would contribute about $200 million towards various projects related to Gateway.

So this is incorrect ? Sounds like a committment to me.

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So this is incorrect ? Sounds like a committment to me.

They applied for a large chunk of that funding from the second round of the ARRA rail money but they were unsuccessful. Other than the land 'donation' I don't beliveve that the state has budgeted any money for the project yet.

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I see. I'll temper my expectations then.

 

But FYI: in Florida, the most Republican-leaning state legislature since Reconstruction approved a $700-million commuter rail line for Orlando.

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