• North Carolina NCDOT-Amtrak Piedmont Service

  • Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.
Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, mtuandrew, Tadman

  by matthewsaggie
 
Upon arrival back in Raleigh each evening the whole train is run around the wye and backed up to the N. Capital Street yard where it is fueled and serviced. In the morning it's run down to the station where it swings onto the joint line to Cary, and backed about 200 ft into the station.

Go to Google earth and locate Raleigh and you can see the wye in front of the station, and the yard to the north, too. The yard is on the old Seaboard line that went north, while the station is on the old Southern RR (actually NCRR) that runs east/west.

Are you planning a visit? If you get to Charlotte, the trains sit on a side track just north of the station all day for the Piedmont and all night for the Carolinian. If you coming on a weekend, I'll be glad to show you around. PM me if you want.
  by villager
 
Governor Easley announces additional midday frequency added to Piedmont service.

Combined with the Carolinian service, there will now be three mostly daylight trips between Raleigh and Charlotte that are competitive with auto travel speeds.

  by Gilbert B Norman
 
According to the release, the service is to begin in about twelve months; as long as I have been observing Amtrak afairs, this is not the first such announcement I have seen.

Has the sponsoring agency contacted Amtrak, as well as NS or CSX as the case may be?. Sponsors have been known to forget that little "detail" in the past.

  by villager
 
This is going to happen. The General Assembly has a bill in committee that was going to fund the midday frequency, and it looks like DOT beat them to the punch with a federal grant. The Governor is extremely conservative on such announcements. If there's a press release with his name on it, it's going to happen.

NCDOT has been making track improvements for years in order to accommodate the extra trains. While a few more sidings would make things better and more reliable still, they have probably 90% of the physical plant in place to do this right now, with several projects in progress.

  by Gilbert B Norman
 
I sincerely hope that when the appropriation is enacted, Amtrak and the railroad will be ready to go. I'm all in favor of Corridors, lest we forget.

  by taoyue
 
NCDOT also owns many of the stations, as well as the locomotives and cars for the Piedmont (locomotives new, cars 1950s vintage). Sort of the Alaska Railroad model of state-supported rail services, but before the double-decker sightseer lounges brought in by tourism.

What's NCRR's relationship to NS? Is NCRR leasing the tracks from NS, or the other way around? Or does NS juts hold trackage rights over NCRR? The chart that villager linked to states "NCRR", but Amtrak's timetable and web site state that the Piedmont runs on Norfolk Southern.

  by tarheelman
 
taoyue wrote:NCDOT also owns many of the stations, as well as the locomotives and cars for the Piedmont (locomotives new, cars 1950s vintage). Sort of the Alaska Railroad model of state-supported rail services, but before the double-decker sightseer lounges brought in by tourism.

What's NCRR's relationship to NS? Is NCRR leasing the tracks from NS, or the other way around? Or does NS juts hold trackage rights over NCRR? The chart that villager linked to states "NCRR", but Amtrak's timetable and web site state that the Piedmont runs on Norfolk Southern.
The NCRR owns the track and leases it to Norfolk Southern under a long-term lease agreement. The track improvements over the last decade have all been funded (AFAIK) by the state (and, thus, the taxpayers) of North Carolina, with the work being performed by Norfolk Southern and its contractors.

The additional frequency is great news, indeed. IMO, provided the NCDOT markets the trains to business travelers as well as leisure travelers, the new frequency will make the Piedmont (and, to a lesser extent, the Carolinian) a viable alternative to driving the increasingly crowded Interstates 40 and 85 between Raleigh and Charlotte.

For more information on the NCRR, here's a link to their website:

http://www.ncrr.com

IMO, the NCRR is a model of how railroad infrastructure should be done nationwide.

  by matthewsaggie
 
I knew this announcement was coming, but Villager, you beat me to the punch today. Another train needing train hosts for us in the association to man.

Alan Paul and his group at NCDOT have done a great job with this.
  by jp1822
 
This was in North Carolina's long range plan, so it was just a matter of time, however, I think the release is still a little - late!

  by wigwagfan
 
tarheelman wrote:IMO, the NCRR is a model of how railroad infrastructure should be done nationwide.
http://www.ncrr.com/ncrr-history.html

If only we could go back to 1848.

  by North Coast Limited
 
I'm more interested in when the NCDOT will finally restore service back to Asheville.

  by CarterB
 
NC Ltd....when.....or IF???

  by Gilbert B Norman
 
North Coast Limited wrote:I'm more interested in when the NCDOT will finally restore service back to Asheville.
The third Raleigh-Charlotte frequency is a far better use of limited funds, Mr. North Coast (Mr. Desert Spirit over at Railforum?). Using the SRY 1964 time of 6'30" Greensboro-Asheville plus the existing 1'30" Raleigh-Greensboro time means we are talking 8'00" Raleigh-Asheville. The Rich Kids From Sunnyvale estimate the drive time along I-40 at 3'57', which translates to "safe and sane" time, including a rest stop, of 4'45".

In short, rail is not even in the league.

Further, once West of the Corridor at Salisbury, where are the people? Yes I know Asheville is a tourist destination with wines "I die for" whenever a friend brings me a gift bottle, but that does not make for a Corridor operation.

There are better places to spend the $$$.

  by CarterB
 
The April '02 NCDOT study estimated $101M to upgrade the Salisbury-Asheville NS line to 79mph. (Phase I)
"The initial study scope was revised to increase the passenger train speeds to the maximum conventional top speed of 80 miles per hour where practical, and to increase the number of passenger trains to two per day per direction. This action was taken to develop an estimate for the minimum travel time and to facilitate transfers to the state-sponsored Piedmont (Amtrak trains 73 and 74) and Carolinian (Amtrak trains 79 and 80) passenger trains. The department initially requested operating schedules of no more than 3 hours and 45 minutes; Norfolk Southern responded with a scheduled run time of 3 hours and 15 minutes."
NCDOT April 2002
1. Study of Passenger Train Service Between Salisbury and Asheville prepared for Norfolk Southern Corporation and the North Carolina Department of Transportation, The Woodside Consulting Group, Inc., February 2002
From then on, according to NCDOT website...Phases II thru V are "postponed"

Moderator's Note: NJDOT edited to read NCDOT. If this is not what you meant, please re-edit back. 6-5-08 426PMCDT

  by villager
 
With family in Asheville, I'd love that train to hurry up into existence, but it's not in the cards, and it's not being studied in any significant way. Priority 1 in NC is speeding up and adding frequency/reliability to Raleigh-Charlotte.

Priority 2 is getting a reliable connection to Richmond, either by improving the A-line that the Carolinian suffers on under CSX, or rebuilding the S-line for 110 mph operations. Significant work is being done on the latter.

NC's plan is that if something like PRIIA passes Congress, their advance work will be so far ahead of everyone else on HSR that they will be the de facto "front of the line."
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