Train Speeds To Begin Increasing This Week

Posted September 18, 2005 6:15 a.m. EDT

— It will be a faster train ride through Raleigh and Cary soon.

Eight months of upgrades on the tracks and the signals are just about over, meaning trains can start traveling faster over the next few weeks.

By Sept. 26, passenger trains will run up to 79 mph through Raleigh and Cary. Freight trains will increase their speed to 60 mph.

Officials with the Department of Transportation have said that with faster speeds, motorists should expect a train on the track at any time. They warn motorists to never try to run around crossing gates.

In August, the driver of a dump truck and his passenger were killed in downtown Raleigh when authorities say they ignored the warning signals and tried to beat the Amtrak Carolinian across the tracks.

DOT officials said it takes about 1.5 miles for a train to come to a stop after its brakes are applied.

“These trains will be traveling faster now. While motorists may now have a smoother ride over the crossings, it is imperative they do their part by obeying the gates and warning signals,” said Paul Worley, the DOT's Rail Division's assistant director for Engineering and Safety.