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RALEIGH, N.C. — People in the Triangle got a new look Monday at what could be the future of getting around in the Triangle.


Triangle Transit Authority

revealed high-tech plans for commuter rail stations. Only a $400 million federal grant stands between virtual rail and reality.

You show up at your rail stop greeted by a wide-open passenger platform.

Sweeping, modern overhangs keep out the elements.

The sleek flexliner whisks you off to your destination. It is computer animation. But, it's the look the Triangle Transit Authority wants for its commuter rail stations. And they're pretty confident about the whole thing.

"Juanita shearer swink/tta:it's comingit's a question of when, not ifit's coming."

Here's what she's talking about. 16 commuter rail stations. Stretching from Duke Medical Center in Durham. All the way to Spring Forest Road in North Raleigh. The TTA still needs half of the 800 million dollar price tag from the federal government. While they wait for word from Capital Hill, the TTA is trying to get people involved in the look of the rail stations.

"Tta's swink:then another option we could have."

IBM workers took a look at the rail stations, and thought about the pros and cons.

"Damon butler/ibm worker:it could be a good thing that it could ease traffic and travel would be less time getting home, to and from work, but at the same time it may be bad because of the schedule that I'm on."

"There is a great view of where they plan to put the downtown raleigh station right off the morgan street bridge all of these warehouses along west street including the dillon building will have to gobut the tta says downtown raleigh will gain opportunities for businesses, restaurants, housing, even entertainment."

The tight federal budget could block the tracks. But commuter rail backers say their plan is ready to roll. Mark Roberts, WRAL News, Raleigh.

Several more T-T-A meetings are planned over the next nine days in Durham and Raleigh. To see the complete schedule, go to WRAL dot com and click on weblinks.

WHEN the first regional rail train leaves the station it will have been several years in the waiting.

Regional rail was identified as the best solution to the Triangle's traffic trouble back in 1995. A year later 16 initial stations are identified. Over the next 7-years, piles paperwork and studies until the first piece of land was purchased earlier this year. Now, construction is just months away. If all goes well, the trains will start rolling in 2,000-7.

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