North Carolina NCDOT-Amtrak Piedmont Service

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mtuandrew
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Re: North Carolina NCDOT-Amtrak Piedmont Service

Post by mtuandrew » Tue Oct 29, 2019 5:57 am

It’s hard to tell from overhead views of High Point, and the Google Maps image is particularly bad (shadows obscure the tracks), but might there be room for a freight gauntlet on the station side? (The southern-most track)

Greensboro has a clearer overhead view, and it looks like there’s room for gauntlets north of the northernmost platform track (if you carve a couple feet from the Greyhound driveway - sorry guys), between the platforms, and if you trim the platform a car length, south of the southernmost platform track. I think the shorter platform would be more than worth the trade-off for level boarding, considering how much faster the process would be.

All of that said, I don’t know if NS is open to gauntlet tracks. They’re frankly a pain in the butt to maintain (much more special trackwork with switches, frogs, and jointly-signaled blocks), and they have more limited utility than a bypass because they don’t clear a main track. Still better than having no high/wide clearance of course.

tvcigar
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Re: North Carolina NCDOT-Amtrak Piedmont Service

Post by tvcigar » Tue Oct 29, 2019 9:13 am

Gilbert B Norman wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 9:32 am
Looks like this subject of national news coverage regarding "brain dead" truck drivers will soon be history:

https://abc11.com/traffic/construction- ... -/5636682/

Fair Use:
.DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- The 11-foot-8-inch bridge in Durham, also known as the "can opener," will be raised this week in hopes of limiting accidents.

The North Carolina Railroad Overpass at Gregson Street in Durham will be closed to traffic from Oct. 23 to Nov. 5 while it is raised.

We still have our can-openers in Greensboro. Most by the tracks near UNC Greensboro. I had to make a 2 mile detour to get my television live truck around there just yesterday.

electricron
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Re: North Carolina NCDOT-Amtrak Piedmont Service

Post by electricron » Tue Oct 29, 2019 2:09 pm

mtuandrew wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 5:57 am
It’s hard to tell from overhead views of High Point, and the Google Maps image is particularly bad (shadows obscure the tracks), but might there be room for a freight gauntlet on the station side? (The southern-most track)

Greensboro has a clearer overhead view, and it looks like there’s room for gauntlets north of the northernmost platform track (if you carve a couple feet from the Greyhound driveway - sorry guys), between the platforms, and if you trim the platform a car length, south of the southernmost platform track. I think the shorter platform would be more than worth the trade-off for level boarding, considering how much faster the process would be.

All of that said, I don’t know if NS is open to gauntlet tracks. They’re frankly a pain in the butt to maintain (much more special trackwork with switches, frogs, and jointly-signaled blocks), and they have more limited utility than a bypass because they don’t clear a main track. Still better than having no high/wide clearance of course.
I’m not going to suggest what should be done, but I do wish to remind everyone that over 99% of the tracks the Piedmont trains run over are owned by NCRR, which is owned by NCDOT, which is owned by North Carolina. While Norfolk Southern RR maintains the railroad corridor under contract with the state; whatever the state wants and is willing to fund will certainly happen!

Jeff Smith
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Re: North Carolina NCDOT-Amtrak Piedmont Service

Post by Jeff Smith » Tue Nov 05, 2019 2:58 pm

The Hartford line uses gauntlet tracks at the stations, but of course that necessitates a CP. I think Brightline coaches have an automatic "watch the gap" filler?
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ExCon90
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Re: North Carolina NCDOT-Amtrak Piedmont Service

Post by ExCon90 » Tue Nov 05, 2019 3:17 pm

Yes, and they seem to be working OK (I haven't seen any comments to the contrary), but the Brightline equipment does require level boarding at all stations.

orulz
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Location: Raleigh, NC

Re: North Carolina NCDOT-Amtrak Piedmont Service

Post by orulz » Tue Nov 05, 2019 6:05 pm

The High Point trench clearly has space for a third track, which could be used as a bypass for wide freight trains, but somehow I don't think that would make Norfolk Southern happy. A single track bypass is all they have in Raleigh, and would probably be enough for any H-line platform between Greensboro and Raleigh, but between Greensboro and Charlotte they would probably want a bypass track for *both* mains, essentially putting both platform faces on a siding. This is what they have demanded and received in Charlotte. It is feasible to do this at Kannapolis and Salisbury for probably a reasonable-ish sum, but at High Point it would involve widening the trench. Best case (wherein the bridges are already long enough and would not have to be rebuilt) this would be expensive; if any or all of the bridges over the trench would have to be replaced, this is likely a prohibitively expensive project.
Image
Image linked from https://subwaynut.com/north_carolina/am ... /index.php

And, of course, there's still the problem of how to raise the platforms, when the elevators, stairs, and (in the case of Greensboro) escalators all terminate at 8 inches above rail, whereas a high platform would be at least 40 inches higher. $$$$$

SouthernRailway
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Re: North Carolina NCDOT-Amtrak Piedmont Service

Post by SouthernRailway » Sun Nov 10, 2019 2:24 pm

Why isn’t there a second Charlotte station at the Charlotte airport? The tracks used by the Carolinian/Piedmont line to Charlotte continue to the airport and there is even a large Norfolk Southern yard right at the airport. Wouldn’t even a platform at the airport help connectivity and ridership?

gokeefe
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Re: North Carolina NCDOT-Amtrak Piedmont Service

Post by gokeefe » Sun Nov 10, 2019 3:03 pm

Not enough funds to date and until recently probably not enough demand/ridership. If it's that obvious NCDOT probably has looked at it and has plans for the future.
gokeefe

NIMBYkiller
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Re: North Carolina NCDOT-Amtrak Piedmont Service

Post by NIMBYkiller » Sun Nov 10, 2019 3:54 pm

I wouldn't trust any bureaucracy to find the obvious things. CLT is definitely worth looking into, especially with it being an American hub.

gokeefe
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Re: North Carolina NCDOT-Amtrak Piedmont Service

Post by gokeefe » Sun Nov 10, 2019 3:56 pm

I think NCDOT is an Amtrak partner who has proven themselves to be worthy of respect.
gokeefe

Bob Roberts
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Re: North Carolina NCDOT-Amtrak Piedmont Service

Post by Bob Roberts » Sun Nov 10, 2019 5:41 pm

SouthernRailway wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 2:24 pm
Why isn’t there a second Charlotte station at the Charlotte airport? The tracks used by the Carolinian/Piedmont line to Charlotte continue to the airport and there is even a large Norfolk Southern yard right at the airport. Wouldn’t even a platform at the airport help connectivity and ridership?
Its on just about every to do list for extending NCDOT service beyond its current routing. In addition, the airport is in the process of designing a people mover system to connect the terminal to remote decks and the future Silver Line light rail station (on Wilkinson Blvd). Such a system would pass over the NS line as well so an airport heavy rail stop could be well connected to the terminal.

Unfortunately an airport station will not be easy because:
* The tracks west of Gateway Station are owned by NS, not the NCRR
* The new NS intermodal yard at the airport generates a good bit of traffic and NS is loath to allow for any additional passenger traffic to interfere with the yard entrance or the nearby junction with the Columbia District tracks
* NCDOT decided to build the Charlotte coach yard just west of downtown. This means that any trains terminating at the airport would need to deadhead back towards town for service (which will further tick off NS in the absence of dedicated passenger tracks). Its a shame since there is plenty of land at the airport for service and storage and the airport would have been a willing partner. Unfortunately there were political problems in Raleigh with such a strategy (and the Summit ave facility is now complete, but not yet in use).
* The Silver Line (which is far in the future but very likely to happen) will connect the airport people mover to Gateway station with high frequency. So, unless there is better service to Atlanta in the near future, an airport heavy rail station is (kinda) duplicate service for destinations to the east.

TLDR: A CLT station will happen, but it will be neither cheap or easy.

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