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JerseyBoy

The Crescent - A Proposal

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As everyone knows, gas prices are on their way up yet again. I've had to cut the amount of day trips I used to take throughout the state drastically due to these absurd costs. The only way one can reach the top five cities in North Carolina is by car. Metropolitan transportation agencies such as CATS, PART, and TTA do not offer inter-regional rail or bus alternatives. I believe it is time that they collaborate together and create a line that entices commuters to forget about their cars.

I have come up with my own personal plan called "The Crescent." It runs 193.04 miles on existing rails from the future Gateway Station in Uptown Charlotte to the Amtrak Station in Raleigh. The line's purpose is to provide a high speed (55-110 mph) commuter and passenger alternative to the automobile. Along the way, it makes stops in the state's largest cities like Winston-Salem, Greensboro, and Durham. Minor stops include Huntersville, Mooresville, Mocksville, Clemmons, Kernersville, Burlington, Mebane, and RTP.

A map of my proposal:

thecrescentgc1.jpg

I hope this could become a reality one day!

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As everyone knows, gas prices are on their way up yet again. I've had to cut the amount of day trips I used to take throughout the state drastically due to these absurd costs. The only way one can reach the top five cities in North Carolina is by car. Metropolitan transportation agencies such as CATS, PART, and TTA do not offer inter-regional rail or bus alternatives. I believe it is time that they collaborate together and create a line that entices commuters to forget about their cars.

I have come up with my own personal plan called "The Crescent." It runs 193.04 miles on existing rails from the future Gateway Station in Uptown Charlotte to the Amtrak Station in Raleigh. The line's purpose is to provide a high speed (55-110 mph) commuter and passenger alternative to the automobile. Along the way, it makes stops in the state's largest cities like Winston-Salem, Greensboro, and Durham. Minor stops include Huntersville, Mooresville, Mocksville, Clemmons, Kernersville, Burlington, Mebane, and RTP.

A map of my proposal:

thecrescentgc1.jpg

I hope this could become a reality one day!

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see http://www.sehsr.org one potential high speed corridor is RGH to Greensboro on the NCRR, Greensboro to Winston-Salem on the NS line, W-S to Lexington on the WSSB, then from there to Charlotte on the NCRR.

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Think it should also include Asheville and Wilmington so we could all easily get to the mountains and coast for vacationing :) .

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Yep, that's something that the state needs to work on, but the routing through the Triad is a tough choice. The options:

NCRR - fastest, most direct, state-owned, but misses Winston-Salem

NCRR - K - O line - slower, curvier, needs to be heavily upgraded from Greensboro all the way to Charlotte, but is the most direct way to serve Winston-Salem

NCRR - K - WSSB - NCRR least direct, line needs needs heavy upgrade between Greensboro and Lexington, but serves all major cities and population centers except High Point.

Restoring and upgrading the K and O line all the way from Greensboro to Charlotte, option 2, which is what you propose, would be the most expensive and would miss High Point and Salisbury, but it would have the huge added benefit of providing a parallel alternate route to the most freight-congested part of the NCRR as well.

Getting down to 2 hours on any of these alignments, especially with that many stops, will be a pretty big effort. It is probably possible on the NCRR alignment, with 2 or 3 stops. But I doubt if even the TGV or Shinkansen could cover 193 miles with 10 intermediate stops in under 2 hours.

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I would like the state to focus on building out the NCRR and SEHSR from RGH to GSO to CLT. Yes, this leaves out W-S, but I think that the state, through it's proposed intermodal legislation, could help PART fund the construction of the commuter rail interurban line from W-S to GSO, linking up the city to the mainline. That line makes a lot more sense as a commuter or regional rail line anyway.

As orulz said, diverting high-speed rail to Winston would be very costly and probably just doesn't make sense. I'd also like to see the state re-build the lines from Asheville to Salisbury and Raleigh to Wilmington & maybe Morehead City to Raleigh for passenger rail service. If that were done, you'd have nearly all the major markets (& ports) in the state covered and interconnected via rail.

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There are two trains each way per day, with a third to come within the next year, between Charlotte and Raleigh:

http://www.bytrain.org

I'd like to see Metro-North or NJ Transit-style hourly service (and newer equipment) but that could be years away.

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I'd like to start off by saying great map JerseyBoy I have wanted to post a rail transit map similar to your map for a very long time and after your post and a few conversations with my fellow UP members I feel comfortable to now.

Below is an idea that would allow an NJ Transit style rail system to be created in NC. These routes connect NCs major metropolitan areas in a way that hasn't been seen before. The Red and Blue lines would be along the the NCRR, they are the ones I would like to see implemented first. The Green line that links Greensboro and Winston-Salem could initially start off as a low cost shuttle train connecting to all Amtrak trains in Greensboro. The Green line would have stops at PTI, Kernersville, WSSU, and downtown WS during its first few years.

I chose to include Charlotte's yet to be built commuter lines along with commuter rail in Wake county in the train system because familiar branding, seamless transfers, and major metro commuter lines under one authority would do nothing but boost ridership. I have ommitted the Goldsboro-Raleigh line for now.

The Piedmont, Carolinian, and SEHSR would serve as express trains between Raleigh and Charlotte. The Crescent can serve as the "late night" train once North Carolinians start to use rail transit more.

The high frequency of trains between Salisbury and Charlotte could serve as a pseudo northeast commuter rail for the region.

2591537243_4708321004_o.jpg

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Awesome diagram. My comment is that rather than having no through-service at Greensboro and making it a transfer hub, I would draw the Green Line from Clemmons to Burlington, Blue line from Raleigh to Charlotte through High Point, and red line from Raleigh to Winston-Salem. A bit of overlap is no problem (and actually is good because it increases frequency on some lines.

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I'd like to see connections major airports and military bases.

Also a line could be done on existing rail from asheville through hickory then could connect in statesville if a the line from charlotte to mooresville extended to statesville. I believe there is existing track there as well.

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I'd like to see connections major airports and military bases.

Also a line could be done on existing rail from asheville through hickory then could connect in statesville if a the line from charlotte to mooresville extended to statesville. I believe there is existing track there as well.

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Adding military bases would be interesting, but I highly doubt it for security reasons. I can see a terrorist now using a train to blow up a base. It really creates an extra security issue that the military doesn't need.

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