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Raleigh declines to pick route for high-speed rail

Posted September 7, 2010

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— City Council members on Tuesday decided not to select a preferred route for a high-speed passenger rail system through Raleigh.

Council members said they want to analyze all alternatives more, and they voted to submit a list of 12 items for consideration to the state Department of Transportation, which will make the final decision on the rail line's location.

The route through the capital city is part of a $2 billion plan to build a rail line from Raleigh to Richmond, Va. That would be part of a Southeast rail corridor that would eventually connect Charlotte to Washington, D.C., with trains traveling at top speeds of 110 mph.

Raleigh city planners recently endorsed a special task force's proposal for the route to follow the Norfolk Southern tracks, north from Jones Street along the western side of Capital Boulevard.

The plan would keep northbound and southbound lanes of West and Harrington streets in downtown open to vehicle traffic and avoid the need for a bridge near the Glenwood South area.

Residents of the Five Points neighborhood oppose the plan, saying the route would go through their neighborhood and adversely affect businesses and homes.As many as 12 freight trains and eight passenger trains could go through the area each day, they said.

Two other routes under consideration would follow CSX tracks on the east side of Capital Boulevard.

Proposed routes for high-speed rail line through Raleigh Residents cheered by delay in rail decision

Some people support a compromise, a so-called "hybrid alternative" that would avoid street closures and minimize the effects on businesses and homes.

The 12 items for consideration the council passed along to DOT include more study of the hybrid plan, building pedestrian overpasses and mitigating the impact of the rail line on nearby neighborhoods.

Five Points residents said they see the City Council's move as a partial victory.

"I'm encouraged from where this all started," resident Rick Baker said. "I felt like (the Norfolk Southern route) was a shoo-in by the city, so I'm encouraged the process worked. They listened to the residents, had a public hearing and started looking at other alternatives out there other than the three proposed.

"We're happy other alternatives will be considered."

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 completion of the rail from Charlotte to Richmond is projected to be 2017 or later.

116 Comments

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  • delilahk2000 Sep 8, 2010

    THIS IS NOT WORTH GOING THREW ANY ONES CITY.

  • deton8tor Sep 8, 2010

    There has been no solid evidence presented that would show justification of this very expensive project just supposition. Has there been a factual study of the project with actual facts and figure? It's a lot of money to be spending to build something just to see if it works.

  • rand321 Sep 7, 2010

    The question one needs to ask, will Raleigh be better off if the high speed train bypasses Raleigh entirely? Or are we better off as taxpayers to spend even more money on the rail. the train is getting built with a lot of Federal money.

    the train is going to go somewhere, does Raleigh see more benefit by being on the train. Improving rail transit to the NE and to CLt would be a net win for Raleigh businesses and residents. I would not like to see Raleigh bypassed the way I95 and I85 passed us in the 1950's.

  • Return the Republic Sep 7, 2010

    a horrible waste of money that will divide towns the way Boston was divided by highways.....I say, in this era of printing whatever money we want, with complete disregard for the future - put it underground! its time for bid dig 2! The unions will love it, and O'bama will be able to spend an endless supply of cash on it! YAY!

  • WRALblows Sep 7, 2010

    "Gee I had no idea nuclear physicists were security guards. Do they get more than minimum wage for that job?"

    That's hilarious. Simpleton. Did you come up with that witty banter all by yourself?

  • rbaff79 Sep 7, 2010

    Sure bring on this white elephant! The illegal immigrants will ride them. That's been Mr. O's plan all along.

  • swaters Sep 7, 2010

    Here is some information about the NC4 Avoidance Alternative now being considered by NCDOT: http://www.livingstreets.com/blog/20100904_sehsr_nc4/

  • Big Mike Sep 7, 2010

    High Speed rail......110 mph.....??...Come on now! How about the European version instead.....300 mph....now that's high speed! But anything faster than I-40 speed on any given morning or afternoon around here is high speed.

    I say mono rail above it all......

  • corey3rd Sep 7, 2010

    the high speed rail project between Richmond and Raleigh has been in the works since "Mr. Small Gubermint" George W Bush was in office.

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Sep 7, 2010

    "The Dept of Education is funneling money to states based on obscure criteria, resulting in 11 states getting money and the other 39 paying for it. Our state dept of education has 25 departments handling 50 federal programs. do you have a clue what they are doing?"

    The criteria isn't obscure. The money only flows to jurisdictions that voted for Obama in 2008. Nothing like paying for your vote.

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