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Businesses May Feel Pinch of Triangle Railway

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RALEIGH — A regional rail system in the Triangle would help people get to and from work. However, many business owners located near the tracks say the speed and convenience of the rail will come at a very steep price.

TheTriangle Transit Authorityhopes to have rail cars rolling down the tracks by 2006. The regional railway would run fromDuke University, todowntown Durham, throughRTP, throughCary, into downtown Raleigh, then up to north Raleigh.

"There's going to be a construction impact," says chief engineer John Robertson. "When you're constructing the thing, it's going to be difficult at times at particular locations to get around, but the goal is to get it constructed so we can reap the benefit of having the train service."

Some streetscapes will change. The TTA released a computer-generated image of a planned train stop at Alston Avenue and the Durham Freeway. Once construction is completed, the gas station located there would no longer exist.

The man who runs the gas station says he is not sure what is going to happen. He would like to stay, but no one is sure at this point whether he stays or goes.

No station locations will be final until public hearings and an environmental impact statement. Those tough decisions would not be made for at least a year.

"There's a greater good, if you will. There's a lot of people that could benefit from the use of this service, and we have a lot of things to work out before we get to that point," Robertson says.

Regional rail is expected to attract 20,000 people a day and will cost up to $600 million. Half of the money is expected to come from the federal government.

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Mark Roberts, Reporter
Ron Pittman, Photographer
Brian Shrader, Web Editor

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