Local News

Small towns concerned about high-speed rail plans

Posted April 29, 2008

— A proposal to construct a high-speed rail line between Washington, D.C., and Charlotte has some city officials in North Carolina concerned about the effect it would have on small towns.

“If you look at the way this rail will run and the closures that will occur, it will essentially divide our town in half,” said Franklinton Mayor Elic Senter.

Senter said closures along Pearce, Joyner, Mason, College and Hawkins Streets would restrict how people can get around town. Though Franklinton streets don’t have much traffic, Senter said closing certain roads could change that.

“It’s really going to put a hardship on us,” Senter said.

The state Department of Transportation said it would add upgraded crossings and three pedestrian crossings in Franklinton if the high-speed rail project is approved.

About six miles away in Youngsville, town leaders said the high-speed rail service would likely force the DOT to build a bypass for N.C. Highway 96, which could reduce the city’s traffic issues.

The multibillion-dollar train would make stops in Richmond, Va., Raleigh and dozens of smaller towns. It would not make as many stops as Amtrak does now, however.

Using the rail, the estimated travel time between Raleigh and Charlotte would between two hours and two hours, 50 minutes, depending on the number of stops. A trip from Raleigh to Richmond would be about two hours. The Raleigh-to-Washington, D.C., trip would be about four hours, which could take more than an hour off the same trip in a car, depending on traffic on I-95.

High-speed rail would cost less per mile than air travel or driving, officials said.


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  • orulz May 2, 2008

    The rail line from Raleigh to Richmond is planned to be 110mph or 125mph, not shared with freight. From Richmond to DC it is planned to be 90mph on a shared 3 or 4 track corridor.. Sure, it's not 150-180mph that they do in Europe and Japan, but it's still a lot faster than driving I-95 and a whole lot more convenient and comfortable than flying.

  • jse830fcnawa030klgmvnnaw+ Apr 30, 2008

    It will never happen, so the towns should not be concerned. The so-called high-speed rail is nothing like what Europe, Japan, and other countries invested for their entire nation, not just one link. It is a sad joke, at mostly taxpayer's expense unfortunately

  • ncxphotos Apr 30, 2008

    Why would it have to affect any streets... just build and overpass. I know that costs more, but this country needs to invest in it's infrastructure. Europe is light years ahead of us on this one.

  • john60 Apr 30, 2008

    "High speed rail" doesn't mean the same thing here that it does in Europe or Japan. Here it means "over 50mph", because the rails are still following the same route that they have always followed for years. The at-grade crossings have to be closed to get the "high speed rail" designation but the curves and grades on the rails themselves don't get changed at all.

  • tired of good ol boy Apr 30, 2008

    Just don't let this state be in charge of building it or let the DOT contractors touch or it will fall apart within a year or two.

  • IceCreamMan Apr 29, 2008

    Sounds like a great idea to me. Anything connecting Charlotte-Raleigh-Richmond-DC w/o highways or airports is gonna get my business.

  • Rolling Along Apr 29, 2008

    WhooHoo! when can we get to ride! I have ridden the high speed trains in Europe, beat the fool out of driving or flying. We need more, much more passenger rail in this country. Get some of the cars off the roads.

  • bushretard Apr 29, 2008

    Colliedave - The nanny state already subsidizes every mode of transportation available to you. If they power this high-speed train with electricity from nuclear power plants - just think - less need to arab oil.

  • FromClayton Apr 29, 2008

    bring it on! this is the wave of the future. We should embrace this. less congestion, less polution. Please let it stop in Clayton.

  • TechRescue Apr 29, 2008

    Don't be a hater