Local News

Raleigh City Council to hear high-speed rail proposal

Posted August 2, 2010
Updated August 3, 2010

— A task force is scheduled to present its proposal on the Southeast High-Speed Rail Corridor to the Raleigh City Council on Tuesday.

The high-speed rail line will eventually connect Charlotte to Washington, D.C., and has some concerned about where the rail's potential corridors in downtown Raleigh could run.

A task force plans to recommend that the trains follow the Norfolk Southern tracks north from Jones Street along the west side of Capital Boulevard. This option would keep North-South streets of West and Harrington open to vehicle traffic and would avoid the need for a bridge near Glenwood South, according to the task force.

The Norfolk Southern lines would also allow for a pedestrian bridge to be built to maintain existing access along Jones Street.

Raleigh City Council to discuss high-speed rail corridors Raleigh City Council to discuss high-speed rail corridors

William Allen, with the Passenger Rail Task Force, said using the Norfolk Southern tracks would avoid major traffic reroutes but would impact more neighborhoods.

"I can't say how many (homes) are totally impacted, but of the historic homes there are four or five," Allen said Monday.

Residents along Bickett Boulevard, where the historic homes are located, are likely to come out against the task force's recommendation.

"It's our job to mitigate the impacts on the neighborhoods," Councilwoman Mary-Ann Baldwin said. "What we have to figure, is that in the greater public interest or not?"

Baldwin said the Norfolk Southern option would also cost $44 million more than the alternative.

The alternative the task force is not in favor of would have trains travel along the east side of Capital Boulevard, using the CSX tracks.

The CSX line would permanently close West and Harrington streets to vehicle traffic and require a bridge over Jones Street that would negatively impact commercial activity in the area, the task force says.

Baldwin said the City Council will carefully consider both options as their recommendation could greatly influence the Department of Transportation's final decision.

"This has an impact on our city for the next 100 years. It's huge," Baldwin said.

The DOT has held several public meetings on the rail project. The department says public input will be taken into consideration as it designs the train corridors.

The state was awarded $545 million in federal stimulus funds to support the high-speed rail system. Plans are to complete the track from Charlotte to Raleigh within three years. The time frame for the rail from Charlotte to Richmond is projected to be 2017 or later.


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  • colliedave Aug 3, 2010

    The state was awarded $545 million in federal stimulus funds

    Should have given this money to every citizen of NC. That would have given each person at least 68mil to spend.

  • nighttrain2010 Aug 3, 2010

    >>Which of course means you're fully in favor of paying for your road use by the mile, and paying your share in full

    I'll go you one further and state that every single mile of road should be sold off to private companies. I buy a license or pay a fee to use said road or I don't drive on it. The amount of money that could be saved, not to mention the boon in revenue from the tax on said fees, could bring the state into the black within a year at most. 'Establishing' post offices and post office roads was not meant to be an open ticket for the government to build roads all over the place.

  • Road-wearier Aug 3, 2010

    "Another waste of our tax dollars by the progressives, socialists, and marxists in our society."

    Which of course means you're fully in favor of paying for your road use by the mile, and paying your share in full. Fuel tax doesn't cover it and won't in the future. Oh, and your airport taxes don't cover the use of that airport at BWI so you're willing to pay more there too, right?

  • jet2rdu Aug 3, 2010

    The NC State budget, even without High Speed Rail, is in the red now and most likely will be for the next few years. The NC DOT, unless the feds grant more than the current $540 million, will have difficulty acquiring additional "revenue" to complete all upgrades in track and equipment to complete this plannned proposal.

    Unless there is a balanced input by the DOT with discussions presenting both the positive and negative effects on the states citizens, including financial, right of way, maintenance, initial and ongoing expenses of infrastructure, instead of where will we route this, we can all expect to be railroaded, at a speed exceeding the new trains.

  • clickhere Aug 3, 2010

    Leonardo - great comment! I'm still laughing at the image of an internet troll, although I do find myself agreeing with DRIFYPN sometimes, especially on violent crime convictions and trials.

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Aug 3, 2010

    When I go into the DC area, I either fly into Washington National or BWI based on where I'm going. I then rent a car.

    The train will take longer and cost the taxpayers more.

    Use the infrastructure that we have before wasting our tax dollars on a train that nobody will take.

  • clickhere Aug 3, 2010

    dirty-water, that price is for today's train ticket, if you buy 3 days in advance the cost is 56.30 with a AAA discount, 112.60 RT - we do it all the time. It was about $70 RT until very recently, business class is $40 more RT if I remember correctly. It's cheaper than driving, and more relaxing. A faster train that didn't have to stop and wait for freight trains would be great and hopefully encourage others to take the train. As others here have stated, you need to add in the airline baggage charge, and frankly, rudeness on the part of some airline employees that have had their salaries and benefits cut - and take it out on the passengers - not taking into account how lucky they are to still be working.

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Aug 3, 2010

    Another waste of our tax dollars by the progressives, socialists, and marxists in our society.

  • nighttrain2010 Aug 3, 2010

    littlebopeep, I suggest you get a group together and fund it then. Don't ask me (or rather take without asking) for my money to fund it. I suggest you delve a little into internal improvement projects of the 19th century. They were, are, and always will be failed government projects that never deliver as promised, have massive cost overruns, and in many cases pad the pockets of a select few (usually favored friends of the government politician who advocated the project)

    As for this, I can guarantee several things about this specific project. It WILL take longer than promised, it WILL have MASSIVE cost overruns, and it WILL pad someone's pocket (most likely a friend of Bev). In the meantime, actual progress in transportation overall, as found in a competitive market, will be hampered by government regulations so this boondoggle can move forward.

    Do I know what that actual progress will be? Probably not as we'll never see it. But government is never the solution

  • ElvisPresleyJr Aug 3, 2010

    At some point this service from Charlotte to D.C. will just turn into another form of transportation for thugs,hoodlums and gang members to take over. I can see the headlines now about turf wars between the bloods and crips over who 'owns' the rail service between the two cities. All the good descent people will stop riding because of the intimidation and fear factor and the gang bangers will use it as a limosine service to recruit and move weapons and illegal contraban from city to city and everywhere in between. In other words, just something else for the lowlifes to take over. Now if they can police the rail system with transit police officers and undercover officers...that might be a different story.