North Carolina NCDOT-Amtrak Carolinian Service

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Re: North Carolina NCDOT-Amtrak Carolinian Service

Postby matthewsaggie » Sun Mar 04, 2018 10:07 pm

Attended a meeting with NCDOT staff yesterday. Station dedication is to be Monday April 30, coordinated by City of Raleigh staff. Last train to use current station will be #91 on the evening of May 1, move will take place during the night and first train out of the new station will be #73 a Piedmont on Wednesday morning May 2.
Last edited by matthewsaggie on Sun Mar 04, 2018 10:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: North Carolina NCDOT-Amtrak Carolinian Service

Postby matthewsaggie » Sun Mar 04, 2018 10:13 pm

Two other tidbits learned yesterday-- 4th train to start service in June 2018 and 5th train planned for 2020.

NCDOT will be seeking bids in coming months to convert 8 of the 9 circus train cars that NC bought to 66 seat coaches for the 5th train.
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Re: North Carolina NCDOT-Amtrak Carolinian Service

Postby gokeefe » Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:35 pm

Wow. That is big news. Thanks for sharing it.
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Re: North Carolina NCDOT-Amtrak Carolinian Service

Postby Arlington » Mon Mar 19, 2018 4:51 pm

I saw that Charlotte's Blue Line opened today. How easy/hard is it to get from the Amtrak station to the closest blue line station?

Connectivity looks pretty bad, with Amtrak on the west side of all the tracks at about 23rd St, but the Blue Line is on the east side at 25th St, with no pedestrian overpass?
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Re: North Carolina NCDOT-Amtrak Carolinian Service

Postby Bob Roberts » Mon Mar 19, 2018 5:43 pm

This situation is embarrassingly awful. The closest Blue Line stations to Amtrak are either Parkwood (at Brevard) or 25th (at Brevard). Crow fly distance to either is trivial but the NS yard makes it a very long and unpleasant walk to both. The Parkwood station is shorter but so unpleasant and dangerous that I don't recommend it for anyone (very few sidewalks, it runs past a homeless shelter and an area between freight tracks which is a large homeless encampment). The walk to 25th is longer (1.65 miles per google) but marginally safer. The best option is certainly an Uber / Lyft / Taxi ride to either station (or the downtown stations) and their are usually quite a few of all of the above awaiting each Amtrak arrival (should be minimum fare on Uber or Lyft). Dockless bikeshare is also an option, but also not recommended due to the traffic on N Tryon street. There is a CATS bus that will take you from Amtrak to the Transportation center downtown (which has a Blue Line stop upstairs), I believe the bus fare allows for transfer to LRT. I think frequency on that route should be every 20 minutes for all Amtrak arrivals (other than the Crescent). Waiting at the stop would be safe enough.

This doesn't help present-day railfans but the expanded streetcar (AKA Gold Line) will connect Gateway Station to the Blue Line when they both open sometime in late 2020 (fingers crossed).

On a positive note, the newly opened section of the Blue Line provides some fantastic views of the skyline, the NS yard entrance, Atando Junction and a nice portion of the NCRR in all are areas that have been difficult to access.
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Re: North Carolina NCDOT-Amtrak Carolinian Service

Postby Arlington » Mon Mar 19, 2018 7:00 pm

Bob Roberts wrote:This doesn't help present-day railfans but the expanded streetcar (AKA Gold Line) will connect Gateway Station to the Blue Line when they both open sometime in late 2020 (fingers crossed).

Ok, so as far as intercity-local transfers are concerned, the real solution isGateway Station (Wikipedia says 2024, based on this Charlotte Observer article from May 2017).

Cheaping out on an overpass for 25th St CATS is a little more forgivable if they honestly originally (in 2015) thought that Gateway Station was going to be open by now.

Gateway Station looks like an awesome project, really. A "Brightline"-ish new station right uptown. What happened? When they got the $25m Fed grant that was supposed to be big chunch of the $54m cost. Now they're talking a full station of $150m to $200m. Scope creep?
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Re: North Carolina NCDOT-Amtrak Carolinian Service

Postby bdawe » Mon Mar 19, 2018 7:01 pm

Is there any good reason why NCDOT wouldn't join the now high-floor California/Midwest rolling stock order, as they were musing about before when it was still bilevels?
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Re: North Carolina NCDOT-Amtrak Carolinian Service

Postby Bob Roberts » Mon Mar 19, 2018 8:00 pm

Arlington wrote:
Bob Roberts wrote:This doesn't help present-day railfans but the expanded streetcar (AKA Gold Line) will connect Gateway Station to the Blue Line when they both open sometime in late 2020 (fingers crossed).

Ok, so as far as intercity-local transfers are concerned, the real solution isGateway Station (Wikipedia says 2024, based on this Charlotte Observer article from May 2017).

Cheaping out on an overpass for 25th St CATS is a little more forgivable if they honestly originally (in 2015) thought that Gateway Station was going to be open by now.

Gateway Station looks like an awesome project, really. A "Brightline"-ish new station right uptown. What happened? When they got the $25m Fed grant that was supposed to be big chunch of the $54m cost. Now they're talking a full station of $150m to $200m. Scope creep?


The Gateway project is phased. Phase 1 will begin construction before summer. It includes track and signal work plus a platform and a temporary station (which may be open by 2020). Phase 2 is a PPP, RFPs will go out to developers towards the end of summer. This will include the new station building as well as the reconstruction of several city blocks (thus the suggestion of scope creep). The full 'real' station is currently scheduled for 2024 IIRC.
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Re: North Carolina NCDOT-Amtrak Carolinian Service

Postby Bob Roberts » Mon Mar 19, 2018 8:01 pm

bdawe wrote:Is there any good reason why NCDOT wouldn't join the now high-floor California/Midwest rolling stock order, as they were musing about before when it was still bilevels?


Low platforms are still required for every station between Charlotte and Raleigh
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Re: North Carolina NCDOT-Amtrak Carolinian Service

Postby frequentflyer » Tue Mar 20, 2018 1:18 pm

Why not order surburban bi levels? Instead of ordering used cars with used car problems.
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Re: North Carolina NCDOT-Amtrak Carolinian Service

Postby Bob Roberts » Tue Mar 20, 2018 1:49 pm

frequentflyer wrote:Why not order surburban bi levels? Instead of ordering used cars with used car problems.


They had actually planed to purchase one (perhaps one per set) of the new (now dead) bi-levels -- I believe they wanted it for low-floor boarding / disabled access. Sigh...

As I have said before, they used cars that NCDOT uses are refurbished VERY well. I don't think they have had many reliability problems and they are a pleasure to ride on. The only slightly annoying detail is the in swing doors at the end of the coaches are less convenient than sliding doors.
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Re: North Carolina NCDOT-Amtrak Carolinian Service

Postby bdawe » Tue Mar 20, 2018 4:01 pm

frequentflyer wrote:Why not order surburban bi levels? Instead of ordering used cars with used car problems.

True. BBD BLV type rolling stock would be both backwards compatible and low-platform
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Re: North Carolina NCDOT-Amtrak Carolinian Service

Postby deestrains » Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:13 am

This was the plan. New 48" ATOR platform at new RGH Union Station killed it.

Note that RVAAC wants complete train access for wheelchairs throughout for 'intercity' service. So, BBD style coaches will not be practical if the RVAAC report gets into an FRA reg. Already there is pressure to comply with the RVAAC report if buying new, even without a reg requiring compliance.

Future Superliners would need 'flow through' elevators in them and I don't see how a compliant BBD type car could be constructed.

https://www.access-board.gov/guidelines-and-standards/transportation/vehicles/rail-vehicles-access-advisory-committee/final-report
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Re: North Carolina NCDOT-Amtrak Carolinian Service

Postby mtuandrew » Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:38 am

Gallery cars with end vestibule doors added?
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Re: North Carolina NCDOT-Amtrak Carolinian Service

Postby deestrains » Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:51 am

I am not familiar with the interior of the VRE or Metra cars. Do they have a flat floor at 48" from end of car to end of car? If that is the case, then they would need to ensure the stairs up to the high seats aren't so wide as to obstruct the circulation path. Coaches going to accessible aisles are getting narrower seats.
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