Local News

Panel recommends Raleigh commuter rail route

Posted July 6, 2011 11:08 a.m. EDT
Updated July 6, 2011 12:39 p.m. EDT

— A panel appointed by the City Council on Tuesday recommended a route for a proposed commuter rail line through Raleigh.

The 11-member Passenger Rail Task Force chose a route that they say would best serve downtown workers, especially state government workers. The task force also recommended using light rail transit railcars that are electrically powered by overhead wires.

The recommended route would follow the existing North Carolina Railroad corridor from Durham through Cary into Raleigh but would then split off at West Morgan Street in downtown Raleigh. It would skirt the north side of a planned Union Station at 510 W. Martin St. It would continue east to Wilmington Street before turning north and connecting with an existing CSX rail corridor.

Going the other direction, the recommended route would split from the CSX corridor north of downtown to follow Salisbury Street south before turning west onto Hillsborough Street. It would then turn south on Harrington Street and skirt the north end of the planned Union Station before picking up the N.C. Railroad corridor and head west.

The route would have two light rail tracks – one eastbound and one westbound – on West Morgan Street from near Hillsborough Street to Harrington Street. The railcars in both directions would operate in conjunction with vehicular traffic.

Union Station would serve as a hub for the system, as well as other  local and regional transit service, such as passenger trains and downtown bus service. A $40 million transportation bond issue that will be on the Oct. 11 ballot for voter approval includes $3 million for the Union Station proposal.