mtuandrew wrote: Have the city fathers in Spartanburg ever inquired to NCDOT about the price of an extended Piedmont or two daily? It wouldn’t be a silly thing for NC to investigate either, because it puts them in a decent position to negotiate with NS re: Asheville via Saluda. No, seriously.Anything is possible with money backing it up!
South of Charlotte, the railroad corridor is owned by Norfolk Southern, which may not want additional passenger trains on it. North and east of Charlotte the Piedmont railroad corridor is owned by North Carolina Railroad (a for profit company owned by NCDOT). Norfolk Southern has little say on what runs on it.
It is 173 rail miles between Raleigh and Charlotte, and another 77 rail miles between Charloette and Spartanburg. A round trip extension to Spartanburg would require the Piedmont trains to travel 154 more rail miles than they do today. it takes the Crescent 90 minutes to make that additional distance per direction, a minimum of 3 hours for the round trip.
I'm not even sure NCRR has enough rolling stock to run trains that far. So, lets see how the additional elapse time effects the existing Piedmont train schedules.....
(First train set)
Train 73 departs Raleigh at 0630, arrives in Charlotte at 0940, and would arrive in Spartanburg at 1110.
(Third train set)
Train 75 departs Raleigh at 1000, arrives in Charlotte at 1310 , and would arrive in Spartanburg at 1440.
(return second train set with 80 minutes layover)
Train 77 departs Raleigh at 1500, arrives in Charlotte at 1810 , and would arrive in Spartanburg at 1940.
(Second train set)
Train 74 would depart Spartanburg at 0900, arrives in Charlotte at 1030, and arrives in Raleigh at 1341 .
(Return first train set with 150 minutes layover)
Train 76 would depart Spartanburg at 1345, arrives in Charlotte at 1515, and arrives in Raleigh at 1826 .
(Return third train set with 170 minutes layover)
Train 78 would depart Spartanburg at 1730, arrives in Charlotte at 1900, and arrives in Raleigh at 2210.
So, looking at the turnovers, it looks very promising as being doable.
But let us now look at how many hours the crews would work to make each round trip.
Train one = 0620 to 1826 = 12 hours 6 minutes ??? (150 minutes layover)
Train two = 0900 to 1940 = 9 hours 40 minutes ??? (80 minutes layover)
Train three = 1000 to 2210 = 12 hours 10 minutes ??? (170 minutes layover)
All much longer than your typical 8 hour workday even with taking them off the clock during turnaround, and this assumes all the trains actually run on time. There's going to be problems with the additional cost of labor. Who is going to pay? Spartanburg?