• Salisbury to Asheville North Carolina 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 Jeff Smith
https://morganton.com/news/local/feasib ... e2bae.html
Feasibility study on rail service to Asheville to be released in several months
Aim is to restore Amtrak service between Salisbury and Asheville

Martin Wheeler, president of Carolinas Association for Passenger Trains, said in a March organization newsletter there would be stops in Valdese and Morganton along a western rail line. Other stops would include Asheville, Black Mountain, Old Fort, Marion, Hickory, Conover, Statesville and Salisbury, he said. CAPT adopted a resolution on Feb. 28 supporting the Asheville to Salisbury line.

Three roundtrips a day is proposed for Asheville-Salisbury Line that would span 139 miles, Wheeler said in the newsletter. The final draft feasibility study for resumption of rail service between Asheville and Salisbury is expected to be ready in a few more months, said Lauren Haviland, an NCDOT spokesperson, but there has not been a definite date set for release.

Wheeler said the North Carolina Department of Transportation also is including the Asheville-Salisbury corridor as one of 13 rail corridors it’s asking the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to include in its Railroad Identification Program. The program is designed to speed the creation of additional rail passenger routes across the country, he said.
Amtrak’s 15-year plan included a map that showed the company would add a line that would service communities from Salisbury to Asheville. Adding a train line along the corridor has been talked about since at least 1999 by the state and train advocates.
  by Steamguy73
Asheville and Salisbury are just 2 hours apart by car via I-40 and US-70. The website for amtrak Connect US says this service would be 3 hours and 45 minutes long. Lots of mountains plus travelling on the Old Fort loops. Very scenic but in terms of transit, probably not the best option.

If that's what the state of NC wants, by all means do what you want. But if I'm making the choices, and I need to choose between Asheville and Wilmington, Wilmington despite the money involved in paying for it would probably be the better choice.
  by Bob Roberts
^ Completely agree, the unavolidable realities of mountain railroading in the US (as opposed to Switzerland) make Asheville service stupid (especially in comparison to Wilmington)

Elsewhere in that article:

13 new corridors in NC? Seriously? Surely this is a typo? Off the top of my head NCDOT's corridor submissions would be:

1) S-Line from Raleigh to Petersburg (and possibly S-Line to Sanford, but that feels like Commuter rail)
2) Raleigh to Wilmington
3) Salisbury to Asheville
4) Raleigh to Greenville NC (really borderline between commuter rail and inter city service)
5) Rocky Mount (Raleigh) to Norfolk (its been mentioned a bunch but seems weird to me)
6) Perhaps Charlotte south to Atlanta? (I had thought the grant was for new routes, but not an expert)
7) Connecting Winston to the NC passenger rail network?
8) Columbia from Raleigh (already exists) or Charlotte? (seems kinda futile but I guess worth some planning efforts)

I can't think of anything else that is vaguely viable (maybe Morehead City? Fayetteville to Raleigh?). What in the world could these 13 routes be?
  by Bob Roberts
Last edited by Bob Roberts on Mon Mar 27, 2023 12:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by Gilbert B Norman
What are they thinking/drinking/smoking in NC. They must have been watching the first "Silver Streak" movie, which was even more absurd than was the second.
  by MattW
The only way the service would be viable would be using a lightweight DMU that can get in and out of speed restrictions quickly, and climb grades like a mountain goat. Even then, it wouldn't be directly time-competitive with driving or a bus, but it would definitely do a lot better.
  by scratchyX1
Gilbert B Norman wrote: Mon Mar 27, 2023 7:33 am What are they thinking/drinking/smoking in NC. They must have been watching the first "Silver Streak" movie, which was even more absurd than was the second.
Wait, there was a Silver Streak remake?
The absurdity of the film (which was a parody of the "who done it on a train" genre) is what made it funny.

Also, for that level service, you'll need DMU/BMU, for the acceleration. Perhaps NC state could purchase the gear, and contract amtrak to run it.
  by Gilbert B Norman
Allow me to make an off topic comment prompted by the "research" I did immediately.

As most anyone around here knows, I reside along the BNSF Chicago Sub, or in Railfanese, the "Race Track".

Within their collection, the CH Historical Society had a photo of the Pioneer Zephyr passing through town on its Denver to Chicago nonstop run. The photo was likely shot on Kodak Verichrome and at dusk, "uh, not the best".

But unfortunately, a few years back, some vandals got into the HS's storehouse and had their fun.

The cops caught 'em, but the photo was lost.
  by Bob Roberts
Not sure if this was the 'official' NCDOT request to FRA for new route studies but it is imformative:
https://downloads.regulations.gov/FRA-2 ... ment_1.pdf

In this December letter to the FRA, NCDOT proposes the following routes:
  • Salisbury to Asheville
  • Wilmington to Raleigh (no specific routing specified)
  • Charlotte to Kings Mountain (western limit for Piedmont trains before hitting the SC forbidden land)
  • Greenville, NC to Raleigh
  • Winston Salem to Raleigh
  • Hamlet to Raleigh (I would have assumed these trains would terminate in Sanford)
  • Morehead City to Raleigh (the other end of the NCRR and piggyback on Wilmington service if run via Goldsboro)
  • Fayetteville to Raleigh (would be a high traffic route and would be western half of the other Wilmington route)
  • Winston Salem to Charlotte (glad to see this on list, might shake loose Red Line commuter rail in Charlotte
Last edited by Bob Roberts on Sun Apr 09, 2023 8:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by STrRedWolf
Bob Roberts wrote: Sun Apr 09, 2023 12:44 pm Not sure if this was the 'official' NCDOT request to FRA for new route studies but it is imformative:
Check that URL link. I don't even have a C: drive on my Linux box, and I know you don't have an account here. :smile:
  by rallyrabbit
Too Bad the mountains get in the way of a Greensboro to Roanoke through Winston or Salisbury to Asheville.

The Winston to Charlotte route would be interesting. Winston-Salem to Clemmons, the line has been dead for years and would need a lot of work, has massive crossing by Stratford Road, and just would be slow. That would give them Mocksville, Cornelius, Huntersville areas in Charlotte. Or does the line take the Winston-Salem Southbound route and hop back on the NCRR at Lexington. I've seen both in layout.

All of this is pretty meaningless. Harrrisburg and Hillsboro need to be stops first, and they'd need their new train sets to free up the Piedmont equipment for the the Wilmington Run.