• North Carolina NCDOT-Amtrak Carolinian 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 Dumboldboy
 
Bob Roberts wrote: Mon Nov 21, 2022 6:27 am ....It does appear that NS has little or no interest in this line. Its been designaled and rumors are that NS is entertaining all shortline offers for these tracks....
If that's the case, what do y'all reckon are the chances that NS would allow NC to take the S Line off their hands?
  by west point
 
Dumboldboy wrote: Fri Jun 30, 2023 8:39 am
Bob Roberts wrote: Mon Nov 21, 2022 6:27 am ....It does appear that NS has little or no interest in this line. Its been designaled and rumors are that NS is entertaining all shortline offers for these tracks....
If that's the case, what do y'all reckon are the chances that NS would allow NC to take the S Line off their hands?
There is some confusion here by some posters. The "S" line has no relationship to the NS short line divesture.

Va DOT has a purchase contract to buy the "S" line from CSX near Petersburg to somewhere north of Norlina NC. Since Virginia DOT for whatever reason cannot own property in NC Virginia wants NC DOT to take over the line from the VA / NC border to end near Norlina. Buying all those parcels and maybe some easements is complicated with many deeds filed in each county. AFAIK where that purchase progress is has not been announced.

NC DOT has expressed desire to purchase "S" line from Virginia border to Raleigh from CSX. Dispatched dark track by CSX. That is for the planned restoration along with Virginia of the "S" line HrSR passenger trains on the route. It may be that purchase negotiations with CSX are delayed over who will provide the freight service from Raleigh ( maybe CARY ). NC DOT also want to purchase the south track from CSX approximately 8 miles from Raleigh - Cary. CSX serves freight customers on the south side of tracks.

NC owns the north track where NS serves north side freight customers. It may be NC DOT wants to designate another freight carrier from Cary - Norlina to Virginia border? NC DOT already owns CLT - Greensboro - RGH - Selma - Morehead City. That is leased by NS for all freight operations. Maybe NC DOT wants to just deal with NS to Norlina? Who knows? Complicating matters is CSX dispatches both tracks RGH - Cary. It is CTC ( was SAL main line ). If NS dispatched that short ~ 8 miles then the whole Greensboro - RGH segment (NS CTC) will become more fluid.

So, the final disposition has many different endings. Speculation is not possible at this time. Any public disclosures are not in best interest of VA, NC, NS, CSX or Amtrak. Do not forget that dispatching might even end up with Amtrak. The Petersburg - RVM "S" line also come into consideration. Then possible new freight customers on any part of "S" line also needs working out.

Do not forget PTC especially that 8 mile CSX section RGH - Cary.
  by Bob Roberts
 
west point wrote: Sun Jul 02, 2023 10:00 am There is some confusion here by some posters. The "S" line has no relationship to the NS short line divesture.
...

Do not forget PTC especially that 8 mile CSX section RGH - Cary.
Yea, this has gotten garbled in translation. In the quote above where I mentioned NS shortlining tracks, I was referring to the NS line from Salisbury to Asheville.

I heard from a reliable source several years ago that NCDOT had a deal in place to purchase the CSX tracks from Raleigh to Norlina (and then on to the state line -- this is the S-Line shortcut commonly referred to in this thread). The deal was simply waiting for grant money from the federal government to be executed. I heard shortly after that that there was also an agreement for NCDOT to purchase the S-Line tracks south of Raleigh down to Hamlet (the route of the Star). The rationale for this (I was told) was that CSX controls dispatching from Cary to Raleigh where NS and CSX run side by side. If NCDOT were to own these tracks then (it was thought) that much of NS's intransigence to passenger rail in the Triangle could be short circuited. Commuter rail service between Henderson and Sanford to Raleigh was also discussed as part of this plan.

I'll admit that these rumors were pre-covid (from around the time that VA purchased the RF&P from CSX) and I have heard nothing about any of these plans since then so take this 'news' for what its worth (not much at this point).
  by rallyrabbit
 
Bob Roberts wrote: Sat Nov 19, 2022 4:36 pm
Station Aficionado wrote: Sat Nov 19, 2022 2:57 pm
4. I have read that the state is considering essentially shuttle service between AVL and Salisbury, where passengers could change for trains headed either north or south. That doesn't seem optimal. If the state were to support, say, 4x/day, they could run two trains through to Charlotte via Salisbury and two through to Greensboro or Raleigh via Winston-Salem (the route of the northern section of the Carolina Special (if that route is still viable between Statesville and Winston-Salem). NC already has terminal facilities in Charlotte and Raleigh.
This is going to be a tough route for anyone other than railfans to like. The loops mean the train will never come close to competing with driving (I-40 to the east is in decent shape and mostly uncongested). Running to Charlotte create a double slowness whammy since it requires running nearly 50 miles east of Charlotte before turning back west again.

I agree that through trains to Raleigh would be ideal, but NCDOT has been struggling with NS to get the capacity they paid for with the ARRA grants on the Charlotte to Greensboro main. New Piedmont frequencies have been held up by NS, I am sure NCDOT does not want to give up a slot for a train that does not run through to both Charlotte and Raleigh.

The NS tracks between Barber Junction (near Statesville) and Winston no longer runs through (and using it would bypass Salisbury). There is a bridge in the Winston area that NS has let go and it has been closed to all traffic. I believe the track has been shut down between the Yadkin River and Winston.

Service from Raleigh to Wilmington on the other hand....
It's closed between Muddy Creek and Winston-Salem (this Bridge hasn't been maintained). There's still customers north of the Yadkin River getting deliveries in Clemmons.
  by Bob Roberts
 
FRA Route Grant announcements have begun to trickle out from Congress. So far I have heard:
  • $1 billion to begin S-Line construction Raleigh-RIchmond
  • $3 billion to Brightline West (LA-Las Vegas)
  • An unstated amount to the Lackanawa Cutoff for Scranton rail service
No surprises yet, I am eager to hear about the other 11 NC routes that were applied for (would LOVE to see Charlotte-Winston Salem)

There is probably a better thread to discuss the breadth of these announcements.
  by cle
 
Great news on the S. Their messaging needs to be better, clearly as all social media comments are digging into them: this isn't about Raleigh-Richmond journeys. It's about DC and NYC- and ostensibly extending the NEC to Raleigh. It's a much bigger play.

That said, needs Long Bridge and wires from DC to Raleigh (certainly Richmond) to realize that NEC potential.
  by Bob Roberts
 
The other NC Route planning grants (these all appear to be $500k each) are:
  • Clt-Atl, this is the Greenfield HSR route, not enhanced Crescent service. May have been a typo but the route description says it will stop in Augusta rather than Anderson which is a reroute.
  • Charlotte-Kings Mountain Piedmont extension
  • Winston-Salem-Raleigh also packaged as a Piedmont extension (disappointed to see Winston-Charlotte not funded)
  • Fayetteville-Raleigh
  • Wilmington-Raleigh
  • Asheville-Salisbury
This was from Tillis’ office. https://www.tillis.senate.gov/2023/12/t ... evelopment
Last edited by Bob Roberts on Wed Dec 06, 2023 8:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
  by Alex M
 
I would be curious to know how many of these routes Brightline could run, assuming they build up a healthy real estate portfolio.
  by Bob Roberts
 
Alex M wrote: Wed Dec 06, 2023 6:45 am I would be curious to know how many of these routes Brightline could run, assuming they build up a healthy real estate portfolio.
Brightline had a chance to bid on the development rights to Charlotte’s Gateway Station district before the pandemic, they did not submit a proposal. Given that choice, along with the lack of large scale development opportunities adjacent any Atlanta terminus, I took the decision to mean they are not interested in operating CLT-ATL.
  by Bob Roberts
 
The Raleigh News and Observer posted an article based on an interview with Jason Orthner (director of NCDOT rail) about the $1billion S-Line grant. It was the first time I had heard the following confirmed:
  • The grant is only for track work through Wake County (Raleigh)
  • Expected open date is 2030
  • The grant will also include a new platform at Raleigh Union Station and a station in Wake Forest (the town, not the school)
  • Piedmonts will be extended to Wake Forest (beyond their current terminus of Raleigh)
  • Sounds like it will be a gold-plated railroad in Wake County, no grade crossing and there was an implication that trains will run at 110mph within Raleigh (I am dubious)
  • There was also a station mentioned at Spring Forest Road, which indicates that they are planning to accommodate commuter rail on this line (but it was not explicitly mentioned)
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local ... 68553.html
  by RandallW
 
That line is all single track north of Raleigh Union Station except within with some single track bridges that would need to be replaced or have a second bridge built beside, some existing road bridges over the railroad that are too short for double track under, and there are 14 new bridges (either rail or road) to be built and two stations. It's a lot of work to double track that line even for that short distance. There are two curves that it looks like they would want to straighten for 110 MPH running that aren't entirely in built up areas, but would require a new bridge across the Neuse river.
  by Bob Roberts
 
Watched 72 pull (slowly) into Durham today. Unusually it had an Amtrak P42 (#38 IIRC) on the rear and it sounded like it was providing power (an NCDOT unit, City of Greensboro, was in the lead). I would guess this is due to the need to use one or two power units on the Pinehurst special trains this past weekend. I had assumed NCDOT had enough gear for all of that. Shrug.

Regardless the details, I am glad NCDOT manages to keep the trains running (mostly) on time and hat tip to Amtrak for providing a spare.
  by rallyrabbit
 
I have heard when splitting the P42 and F59 they cannot run them Push/Pull, but no way to back it up so you end up with one or the other and the other only as a cab unit.

They need to get City of High Point back in rotation. It has been out since getting the aftertreatment system put on.

I also noticed on the Pinehurst trains that some of the NCDOT cars are looking rough, paint-wise. They need to be freshened up.

And I really think moving those cars and other F59 units as surplus sales was a mistake.
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