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Raleigh leaders hear plan for high-speed rail

Posted August 3, 2010

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— A special task force on Tuesday recommended to Raleigh city leaders that part of a high-speed rail running through the city be built along tracks on the western side of Capital Boulevard.

The route follows the Norfolk Southern tracks north from Jones Street along the west side of Capital Boulevard.

This option would keep northbound and southbound lanes of West and Harrington streets open to vehicle traffic. It would avoid the need for a bridge near Glenwood South, the task force said.

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

It's one of three options the task force presented to the City Council Tuesday.

City officials held off voting on the recommendation and decided to hold a public hearing at 7 p.m. on Aug. 31, in the council chamber of the Avery C. Upchurch Government Complex, 222 W. Hargett St.

The Council's decision would be a recommendation to the North Carolina Department of Transportation, which would ultimately decide how to route the Southeast High-Speed Rail corridor in North Carolina.

Task force recommends rail for high-speed train Task force recommends rail for high-speed train

The rail, still years away from completion, would provide high-speed train service from Raleigh to Washington, D.C.

The DOT has held several public meetings in communities that will be affected by the project.

The department has said that 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 timeframe for the rail from Charlotte to Richmond is projected to be 2017 or later.


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  • unc70 Aug 4, 2010

    What are "we" getting for our money? More than just a few passenger trains short-term. The upgraded corridor greatly improves rail freight traffic. It shares the corridors, with double-track passing lanes allowing efficient co-existance of freight and passenger trains. (Freight service will be restored to areas where it had been abandoned.)

    Upgrades to crossing should greatly reduce train-car wrecks along these routes, plus eliminate crossing delays at many locations waiting for trains of all types.

    Improvements already reduced Ral-Chlt travel times from over 4h to about 3h now, and will drop much more when current projects are completed. It also becomes easier to add local/commuter rail service.

    BTW Chlt-DC HS corridor passenger service is expected to cover op costs from the fare box, with fares less than half that of planes. See bytrain.org for documents.

    All of this and more for roughly the project cost of a single B-2 bomber.

  • nighttrain2010 Aug 4, 2010

    >>is the fact that we (Americans) haven't figured out until now, that high-speed rail is a PERFECT way to travel.

    Well if it's the 'perfect' way to travel then the market should support it without government wasting my tax dollars. It doesn't does it?

    >>There's a huge difference between the current Amtrak rails & a high-speed rail. That difference is speed of travel.

    Except that to get this passed with the approval of all the states and communities involved, concessions will have to be made. The train will have to stop at X if you want to come through 'our town' and so on. And what will you have? A 'high speed' train having to stop every 30 miles to meet with the agreement of the politician representing that district.

    >>High-speed railways should be a prevalent part of the transportation system of tomorrow, here in the states, not just in other countries

    You pay for it, you build it, and you charge what you deem acceptable for it. Don't ask me to as I won't use it.

  • thepiddler1 Aug 4, 2010

    Present trains can run much faster than they do now. And the reason that they don't. The tracks are in such bad condition that they can not run safely. Use this money for repair of old rails.

    Thanks, Brad

  • chfdcpt Aug 4, 2010

    "A task force charged with studying the issue made its final recommendation to council members. It wants to go with the proposed route that would run near Jones Street just west of Capital Boulevard."

    "The negatives? It would cost about $45 million more and Jones Street would be closed at the tracks. About twice as many homes and businesses, more than 50 in all, would be affected - some having to be torn down."


    Go figure it out.

  • jgiddings Aug 4, 2010

    and when the federal money runs out, how much is this going to increase our taxes? high speed rail in every other country has to be subsidized because it cost more than it pays

  • exquisite1 Aug 4, 2010

    Waste of tax dollars? Hardly. What's a waste, is the fact that we (Americans) haven't figured out until now, that high-speed rail is a PERFECT way to travel. And with the number of people who travel between Raleigh and Charlotte is overwhelming and still rising. True, the existing customer base for Amtrak is low. However, who wants to travel by train if they can get to their destination just as quickly by driving their own personal vehicle? There's a huge difference between the current Amtrak rails & a high-speed rail. That difference is speed of travel.

    High-speed railways should be a prevalent part of the transportation system of tomorrow, here in the states, not just in other countries.

  • midnightclay Aug 4, 2010

    How about this plan -----
    Forget about the high speed rail to nowhere and save a bundle of money.

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Aug 4, 2010

    Another waste of our tax dollars.

    The ridership on the existing Amtrak line from Raleigh to Charlotte is too low to justify upgrading it to high speed rail.

  • nighttrain2010 Aug 4, 2010

    >>High-speed rail to DC shall be built. That has already been decided

    No what's been decided is that money shall be spent. Considering the usefulness of the federal government they set a plan at 3 years, I give it 10 at least before it's even close to being finished. And it will have been scaled back, far over the original cost, and won't actually do what it was sold as doing.

  • BigUNCFan Aug 4, 2010

    If I thought it would actually happen, work, and be feasible from a self sustaining biz viewpoint, I would be for it. However, I know it will be over budget and not be fast enough to make it better than airplanes and will need to be subsidized by the govt. A big waste of money.