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Charlotte Gateway Station and Railroad Improvements


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5 hours ago, DEnd said:

They were only ever going to focus on the 85 corridor.  This work is done by the Georgia DOT and it makes sense for them to favor GSP over Columbia.
 

 

Well, they did list the alternatives, so it was clearly scored and review,  and GDOT has interests in Augusta and eventually Savannah routes.  I liked that routing 77-20 routing for the Florida connection, but from a GA perspective, it would have gained ATL-Augusta and an option for ATL-Augusta-Savannah in long run.      

But frankly, of course within the lens of the ATL-CLT corridor, the more direct / lower mileage option is far superior, because the extra mileage has only some potential long term benefit which can't really be a strong determining factor. 

 

I am happy with a greenfield route as it goes very rural, can determine its own destiny without concern for legacy railroads or the interstate system.   But it is hard to imagine the hardships of the process to deal with so many landowners and environmental reviews for a totally new route.   I love the participation of Virgin.  I'm not sure what happened that complicated and ballooned the CA HSR route, but the FL example of Brightline was really satisfying to watch and see how quickly it came together and now on to phases 2 and 3.     

 

With all the growth in the CLT-ALT corridor, it will be so awesome to have to growing with rail usage.   Seeing estimated ridership of 5-6m would be amazing. 

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14 minutes ago, dubone said:

  But it is hard to imagine the hardships of the process to deal with so many landowners and environmental reviews for a totally new route.  

Texas Central is in the process of doing exactly this for their Japanese technology (and Japanese subsidized)  true HSR from Dallas to Houston. They had some legislative struggles, but they seemed to have moved passed those issues and construction may get underway next year.  If they can pull it off then greenfield HSR will officially be a thing in the US.

https://www.texascentral.com/

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On 9/25/2019 at 12:03 PM, dubone said:

it is hard to imagine the hardships of the process to deal with so many landowners and environmental reviews for a totally new route.  

DOTs do this sort of thing literally *all the time* for freeways. It's completely, totally routine. Including, occasionally, rebuilding or relocating schools. People don't like eminent domain, but it's a fact of life.

Getting public support is a little more challenging since freeways at least have interchanges every 5-10 miles in rural areas, but HSR won't stop at all. And because a certain set of Americans have a reflexive negative reaction to trains.

But there's no reason to think that assembling a corridor will be a show stopper.

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Really interesting that Hoffman & Associates responded to this. If my memory serves me correctly, this would be one of their first projects outside of Greater Washington.

I know I read in the WBJ that they were looking to open an office in Raleigh, but has anyone heard that that actually happened?


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17 hours ago, emansius said:

Really interesting that Hoffman & Associates responded to this. If my memory serves me correctly, this would be one of their first projects outside of Greater Washington.

I know I read in the WBJ that they were looking to open an office in Raleigh, but has anyone heard that that actually happened?


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They have a person in Raleigh now. They have acquired Seaboard Station on Peace Street and are planning a huge mixed use redevelopment there. 

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3 minutes ago, kermit said:

meh, the larger doc (which is linked to on the previous page) lays out the route characteristics pretty well. The Northern (crescent) route will be super slow and subject to a ton of freight interference. While the Crescent route does a marginally better job of accessing the downtown GSP markets (and hits Gastonia), trading UGA for Clemson is a decent trade off. Given SC's likely non-participation (financially) in the project crappy SC access is reasonable. A 2:15 trip from Charlotte to Atlanta would be pretty sweet.

image.thumb.png.09d2ca9d06a354a5adacdbb3963afe0a.png

I suppose I should have read the articles before forming an opinion on just the map lol. There's definitely a lot of different factors to consider.

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^But don't stop in Gastonia.  Also straighten out the Greenfield alignment for a shared station around the GSP metro, the first and only stop between Charlotte and Athens before then going directly to Atlanta.  No need to deviate so many extra miles just to reach a dozen-gate terminal.  Make the trip under two hours with even more direct routing and just two stops between Charlotte and Atlanta.

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20 hours ago, southslider said:

Too many stops on each alternative.

Yea, I agree. Unfortunately Brightline learned the hard way in Florida that there is a bunch more NIMBY pushback from counties that don’t have stops. So Brightline  added a station or two to their Orlando extension, but they have been conspicuously silent about how much those stations will actually get used. I suspect the awkwardness of the GSP station on the greenfield route  was designed to make SC less obstructionist to the project (although Georgia has also been talking about a relief airport for ATL for more than a decade. One plan involved HSR to the Chattanooga airport).  A lone station somewhat South of Anderson certainly won’t create any political cover for SC legislators.

The Greenfield proposals could also provide an alternative to one of the worst, and most intractable problems in the Atlanta metro — Gwinnett county congestion. A corridor that combined HSR with commuter rail from Athens (with CR stops in Gwinnett and Dekalb) would be a game changer for real estate developers East of ATL and would pull those suburban Atlanta stops off of HSR.

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I honestly was looking at it as a "Piedmont megaregion" catalyst for development and helping connect the pieces of this future massive contiguous urban area. Similar to how the blue line is helping bring Charlotte neighborhoods together. 

It would be kind of shortsighted to not have it with good connectivity to Greeneville.

Wiki article on the megaregion if you haven't read about it:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piedmont_Atlantic_Megaregion

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I don't get the point of stopping at GSP. CLT and ATL are clearly much more useful as major airports, and there won't be (or at least there shouldn't be) enough stops to warrant use as a legitimate transportation option to GSP.

BUT I also agree with @Nick2 (good name btw) in thinking that it would be a missed opportunity not to stop in Greenville or Spartanburg, although I'd limit it to one or the other (preferably Greenville, in downtown if at all possible).

I'd prefer the I-85 line with stops at Gateway, CLT, Greenville, GA MMPT, and ATL.  The way I look at it, it's roughly 250 miles from Charlotte to Atlanta, and if it followed the I-85 line at 150 mph (180 mph would be awesome), then I think it would easily achievable to return the times estimated for the nearby Greenfield route. 

It's a shame to drop places like Gastonia and Spartanburg, but the number of people who would actually use these stations definitely isn't worth the lost time.

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I wouldn't rule out all of the proposed stations just to keep the time down and speed up. As mentioned, you need support from all the areas to get it built. Greenville/Spartanburg is a decent sized market with plenty of commerce and connections between Atlanta and Charlotte, but the Greenfield GSP station does seem a little wacky.

I'm not sure what the proposed frequency is, but you can always have different levels of service, i.e., "express trains" with limited stops. E.g., morning, mid-day and evening ATL>GSP>CLT only, mid-morning and mid-day serves all stops (and shave a few bucks off the ticket price for the slower service).

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