State News

Feds grant $4M for rail development in NC

Posted September 27, 2011

— North Carolina and Virginia will get over $48 million in federal grant money to develop a high-speed rail link between Raleigh and Washington, D.C.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced the funding Tuesday. The goal is ultimately to spur high-speed rail development throughout the southeast, which has seen a population boom in recent decades.

About $4 million of the grant will go to North Carolina for analysis and preliminary engineering on a new connection between Raleigh and Richmond, Va. The aim is to reduce travel time between the cities to around two hours, shaving about 90 minutes off the current schedule.

It could be finished between 2018 and 2022.

Three potential routes for the rail running through downtown Raleigh were killed by public criticism last year, but a fourth plan, which state Department of Transportation officials say addresses previous concerns, was on display for public comment Tuesday.

Raleigh residents get glimpse of rail route Raleigh residents get glimpse of new rail route through downtown

The new route runs from Interstate 440 to downtown Raleigh, with a bridge taking the tracks over Capital Boulevard and away from residential areas.

Chris Shlenker, who lives downtown, said the current route will be more expensive to build than the previous proposals.

"But it definitely appears to have less impact to downtown," he said.

The high-speed rail would close two downtown roads and require the construction of three new bridges.

Many residents, including Amy Etheridge, said they are still digesting the latest proposal.

"It may or may not impact my quality of life as a downtown resident," she said.

Virginia will get over $44 million towards the construction of a high-speed rail corridor between Richmond and Washington, D.C. The line is eventually expected to run from Boston to Charlotte.

84 Comments

This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • jelly bean Sep 28, 2011

    Oh boy I can get to Richmond in two hours. You can drive it in two and a half.

  • Titus Pullo Sep 28, 2011

    Diesel now, electricity later. What fuel will produce the electricity? Coal? Nuclear? Wishful thinking?

  • nighttrain2010 Sep 28, 2011

    >>The technolgy is available. I would love to get on a Bullet Train and go to DC or to Califonia and points in between. -warbirdlover

    Then you pay for it.

    The 'shortsightedness' you complain of is allowing the government to do the same thing over and over and over and over expecting a different result. This will be the next Amtrak. No one will ride it, government will subsidize it, and we'll go even further broke paying for something that will end up costing at least 10 times what the government claims it will cost.

  • nighttrain2010 Sep 28, 2011

    >>This project would generate hundreds or thousands of jobs that can't be outsourced to China

    That is until the project is completed. Government does not and can not create lasting jobs. If the private market determines there is a necessity it will be built using private dollars (and yes it has been done before)

    >>The best way to reduce the debt is to increase the number of working taxpayers.

    No the best way to reduce debt is to quit spending!! I don't reduce the debt around my household by hiring 6 people to landscape the yard. I reduce the debt by cutting back my expenses.

  • hp277 Sep 28, 2011

    'As a rail designer I assure you the costs would not be astronomically more when compared to what is being proposed today. This is as political as it gets.' boylan99

    Obtaining new rail right of way for hundreds of miles, taking out countless homes and businesses and farms along the way, would costs billions more than current proposals. How you can advocate an expensive new ROW while complaining about spending is ironic, at best.

    This is about far more than the rail line through downtown Raleigh, or just getting from Raleigh to Richmond. A high speed rail line from Charlotte to Raleigh would offer people an alternative both to driving and to flying from here to places like DC, Philadelphia, New York, and Boston.

    It would also pull passenger traffic off the freight lines, giving them more capacity as well.

    This project would generate hundreds or thousands of jobs that can't be outsourced to China. The best way to reduce the debt is to increase the number of working taxpayers.

  • Riddickfield Sep 28, 2011

    Has anyone seen what happened to North Haverbrook when they got one of these high speed rail systems? Not a pretty sight.

  • boylan99 Sep 28, 2011

    hp277 We are only tied to ex rail corridors b/c a group of bureaucrats about 15 yeasr ago decided that is the only way it would be considered. Very poor vision. As a rail designer I assure you the costs would not be astronomically more when compared to what is being proposed today. This is as political as it gets.

    Freight will not eb able to use some secitons of the new high speed lines b/c a grade problems.

    The trains we have are already subsidized so where do we stop the subsidizing? Do we build special bike highways, motorcycle lanes, etc.

    Choices need to be made and those that think spending is the answer to all ills can't seem to cut anything.

  • Vietnam Vet Sep 28, 2011

    Why do they insist on shoving this rail system down our throats?? Nobody wants it, and just how many people commute from Raleigh to DC on a daily basis? Are there no trains currently running from Raleigh to DC? More wasted taxpayer money in construction and more subsidies.

  • No Party Affiliate Sep 28, 2011

    "We don't want your trains you communist! Send that money to Alaska where it can do some real good. Drilling all the oil there will give us like a billion jobs."

    godnessgracious, I can agree with you on that! I like the trains but that is a much better idea.

  • godnessgracious2 Sep 28, 2011

    We don't want your trains you communist! Send that money to Alaska where it can do some real good. Drilling all the oil there will give us like a billion jobs.

More...