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Charlotte Gateway Station and Railroad Improvements


dubone

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3 hours ago, ajfunder said:

I received this from a railfan friend. Are we getting new locomotives too?

7E1D2881-4A17-40BA-87CE-259A13DD8BD1.jpeg

The livery paint jobs and text suggests that we are getting new power. This is a surprise to me.

The grant was for the purpose of improving passenger safety (the grant program was rolled out quickly after the Silver Star hit a freight train in Columbia SC). I don't see how new power improves safety, but our rebuilt locos are probably nearing the end of life. NCDOT has sat on the grant money for a while and said VERY little about this order. I guess it makes sense that NCDOT would find more cash for some new power to add to the order.

New locos will look good, but reliability of the current stock is very good, so I am not sure their will be big improvements in OTP because of these (they will have slightly better acceleration so maybe they reduce run times by a couple of minutes). 

The eight train set order is also good news. The 6.5 coaches indicate a doubling of capacity (more or less) on current service. The "cafe" service is unclear based on the list at the top of the graphic. 

I believe four sets will handle expanded Piedmont service (up to eight round trips per day I think), so keeping two spares, there will be enough equipment for Wilmington trains (the graphic does specify Piedmont service though)

Edited by kermit
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1 hour ago, kermit said:

The livery paint jobs and text suggests that we are getting new power. This is a surprise to me.

The grant was for the purpose of improving passenger safety (the grant program was rolled out quickly after the Silver Star hit a freight train in Columbia SC). I don't see how new power improves safety, but our rebuilt locos are probably nearing the end of life. NCDOT has sat on the grant money for a while and said VERY little about this order. I guess it makes sense that NCDOT would find more cash for some new power to add to the order.

New locos will look good, but reliability of the current stock is very good, so I am not sure their will be big improvements in scheduling because of these (they will have slightly better acceleration). 

The eight trainset order is good news. I believe four sets will be needed for expanded Piedmont service, keep one spare, and that leaves three sets that could be used for Wilmington trains (the graphic does specify Piedmont service though)

Are trains to Wilmington officially becoming a thing?

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On 11/11/2022 at 1:37 PM, Reverie39 said:

Are trains to Wilmington officially becoming a thing?

Not yet, but the current condition of the project is that they COULD get started on construction on state owned tracks (along with a deal w CSX on use or purchase of their tracks) with infrastructure bill funds.  I also think there is some state-level political will for this project since Goldsboro, Mount Olive and Warsaw might be big winners from it. 

Since Wilmington trains will be much more car-competitive than Asheville trains I view it as a more viable service which, IMO, should come first.

Edited by kermit
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  • 2 weeks later...

This is a very random question, but I may be taking a gameday (Panthers) train into Charlotte for the first time soon. Is walking from the train station into Uptown something that is generally done? Google says 38 min to the stadium, is this a fairly walkable stretch? Or if not, what are the other options? Ubering seems like an annoying solution.

This highlights the need for an Uptown station. The current station has such an awkward location. I wish there was a bridge over the rail yard to a Blue Line station.

Edit: looks like there may be a CATS bus (Route 11) that stops at the Amtrak station for each arriving train. That's helpful.

Edited by Reverie39
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8 minutes ago, Reverie39 said:

This is a very random question, but I may be taking a gameday (Panthers) train into Charlotte for the first time soon. Is walking from the train station into Uptown something that is generally done? Google says 38 min to the stadium, is this a fairly walkable stretch? Or if not, what are the other options? Ubering seems like an annoying solution.

This highlights the need for an Uptown station. The current station has such an awkward location. I wish there was a bridge over the rail yard to a Blue Line station.

I took the train from Raleigh to Charlotte for the Panthers vs Browns game on September 11th. From my experience, and I'm an avid walker, I will take  an Uber from the Charlotte train station to the stadium next time. IMO it's not that it's too far of a walk. It's just an awkward one since the sidewalks in that area aren't very great! 

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14 minutes ago, J.Kirk said:

I agree with you. It'd just be nice to get dropped off right in the center of the city. When that happens, and I believe it will soon, the train experience will be amazing and I bet a lot more people will take the train instead of drive. 

exactly and since parking is at a premium it is good way for those in the Triad or Triangle to get to Charlotte and return. 

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On 11/30/2022 at 4:48 AM, RANYC said:

Any engineers know if it would have been at all possible for the station bldg and tracks to be built in parallel in order to complete at around the same time?

Of course it was possible. But Charlotte / NCDOT didn't want to pay for the building, they wanted it to be built as part of a PPP instead. Seems (to me) that this was a piece of infrastructure worth paying for.

The PPP has been repeatedly delayed due to pandemic and issues with the PPP process (private companies are flakey)

 

 

Edited by kermit
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8 hours ago, kermit said:

Of course it was possible. But Charlotte / NCDOT didn't want to pay for the building, they wanted it to be built as part of a PPP instead. Seems (to me) that this was a piece of infrastructure worth paying for.

 

 

Charlotte's role in this decision is really limited tbh. They are at the whims of NCDOT/NCRR priorities.  A lot of this has to with certain TPTB only doing what they can with bare minimums here because it's Charlotte and this belief it can fund & build  this itself.  Reality is they can't because there isn't a home rule charter at the moment allowing such autonomy. 

I know for a fact this didn't occur with the Raleigh Union Station project.

Edited by kayman
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