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Could A New Railroad Work?  
User currently offlineERJ170 From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 6761 posts, RR: 17
Posted (4 years 12 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 1648 times:

As a North Carolinian, I know Amtrak offers several routes throughout the state.

Piedmont (Raleigh-Charlotte - paid for by NCDOT)
Carolinain (New York-Charlotte - paird for by NCDOT)
Silver Star
Silver Meteor
Crescent
Palmetto

But these train services only allow for once daily service and not conducive to really being utilized by a lot of Carolinians.

So I was hypothesizing if more trainservice could be possible for the North Carolina area..

Here's my thought, tell me what you think.. using trains similar to the Super Voyagers of Virgin Trains (4-car set where one is a shopping/dinning car)

3x Carolina Coast = Morehead City - New Bern - Kinston - Goldsboro - Raleigh - Durham
2x Tidewater = Norfolk - Roanoke Rapids - Henderson - Raleigh - Cary
2x Porto = Wilmington - Goldsboro - Raleigh - Greensboro
2x Biltmore = Asheville - Morganton - Salisbury - Winston-Salem - Greensboro - Raleigh
3x Piedmont Express = Raleigh - Charlotte
2x Cherry Tree = Washington, NC - Greenville - Wilson - Rocky Mount - Raleigh - Durham

Where all 3x could go up to 5x daily and all 2x could go up to 4x daily)

So, what do you think?


Aiming High and going far..
11 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineTiger119 From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 1919 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (4 years 12 months 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 1589 times:

I really do not know that much about leisure and commuter transit in the Carolinas and up to the upper Atlantic Coast, but a lot of people around IND go to Chicago (along with myself) a lot. I do believe there is only one trip a day on Amtrak back and forth. People either drive it or pay for a ticket on one of the airlines. Driving it means you have to pay for gas, pay for parking and the miles you put on your vehicle. If Amtrack would have X2 or X3 trips Monday through Friday and then X2 Saturday and Sunday, I believe they would fill some seats. Escpecially if the Indy to Windy was a continuation of Louisville to Indy or Cincinnati to Indy. My brother in law told me last week he spoke with an old friend of his the other day who lives on the westside of Indy and works at ORD, Monday through Friday. He flies up in the morning and flies home at night on the airlines.

When TZ was still flying I know there were several SCAs that worked at MDW who lived in Indy. That is one of the reasons that TZs regional line (they flew Saab 340s from IND to MDW around 11X or 12X a day) kept flying as long as they did.

David



Flying is the second greatest thrill known to mankind, landing is the first!
User currently onlineMSYtristar From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 6552 posts, RR: 51
Reply 2, posted (4 years 12 months 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 1582 times:

Well, another Piedmont round-trip between RDU and CLT is being added shortly...probably late Fall/early Winter. It will be a mid-day departure in both directions, so that will give that corridor three daily trains in each direction. I also know groups have been pushing for service to Asheville, but that probably won't happen for at least a few years...but I think it'll happen.

User currently offlineRFields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 32
Reply 3, posted (4 years 12 months 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 1544 times:

To set my prejudices - I love trains, I love passenger trains, I travel Amtrak for FUN several times a year. I have several thousand dollars of model trains in my upstairs game room.

Quoting ERJ170 (Thread starter):
So, what do you think?

It will not work using freight system owned rails. The scheduling and delays will make a multi-frequency schedule a joke.

The way to make the schedule work is passenger only rails, and eliminate grade crossings.

That gets expensive quickly. Buying land, condemming property, building new roadbed, bridges, overpasses, fencing for animal and people exclusion.

It is basically like having to build your own highway system to run a bus line.

Hopefully gradual increases in service will lead to more passenger demand. Eventually the passenger demand might exert enough political pressure to build a key HSR corridor.


User currently offlineSteeler83 From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 9191 posts, RR: 18
Reply 4, posted (4 years 12 months 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 1529 times:



Quoting RFields5421 (Reply 3):
Hopefully gradual increases in service will lead to more passenger demand. Eventually the passenger demand might exert enough political pressure to build a key HSR corridor.

I know this is somewhat off topic, but given that, does anyone on here think that the Chicago-Toledo-Cleveland-Pittsburgh corridor could be a high speed corridor at some point? I think it's the second largest megalopogis behind the Northeast Corridor.

I know that at Pittsburgh's Amtrak station (sometimes referred to PIttsburgh Union Station on wiki), the 2008 pax jumped 19% to over 142,800 from the previous year. There are only 4 daily trains that serve PGH: eb and wb Pennsylvanian Service (Pittsburgh to NY Penn), and eb/wb Capitol LTD between Chicago and DC. I know that the Ohio Hub project has been discussed for years, which would create 2 HSR corridors out of PGH: one to Cleveland and the other to Columbus.

Now, back to Carolina, according to Wiki, they are talking about extending the Acela service down to Charlotte...



Do not bring stranger girt into your room. The stranger girt is dangerous, it will hurt your life.
User currently offlineERJ170 From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 6761 posts, RR: 17
Reply 5, posted (4 years 12 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 1503 times:



Quoting MSYtristar (Reply 2):
Well, another Piedmont round-trip between RDU and CLT is being added shortly...

Yes, it's supposed to get up to 8x daily service by 2025.. but right now it's all using the 1960s equipment..

Quoting MSYtristar (Reply 2):
I also know groups have been pushing for service to Asheville, but that probably won't happen for at least a few years...but I think it'll happen.

Asheville Raleigh and Raleigh-Wilmington are both in the plans for 2025... but if someone with trains can do it earlier (hint hint)

Quoting RFields5421 (Reply 3):
It will not work using freight system owned rails.

Actually, the state of NC owns the main rail line in North Carolina (Morehead City to Charlotte).. they lease use to Norfolk Southern and CSX.. The ultimate plan is to have 4 lines in Raleigh and Charlotte.. 2 lines between.. and pass-bys along the rest of the line that runs Morehead City to Charlotte.. Plus they are in the process of closing about 70% of the grade crossings.. most rail companies would love a totally closed line. It may make people with cars ticked off, but riding the rails in Europe.. you can definitely tell the benefit of closed systems..

Quoting Steeler83 (Reply 4):
they are talking about extending the Acela service down to Charlotte...

Highly doubtful.. there isn't and I don't think there will be electric lines along the rail.. the Washington-Charlotte line will be using Diesel trains that can travel up to 120mph...

Now, I am so surprised and happy that people are responding to this. This is great. I know there are lots of possibilites in the Carolinas, and I find it interesting learing about other areas.. I would love to see the rail line return Miami - Key West.. that would get a lot of cars off the road and would probably be one of the most scenic train rides of all..



Aiming High and going far..
User currently offlineRFields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 32
Reply 6, posted (4 years 12 months 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 1481 times:



Quoting Steeler83 (Reply 4):
Chicago-Toledo-Cleveland-Pittsburgh corridor could be a high speed corridor at some point?

Personally, I don't think HSR for routes over 200-300 miles has a real chance in the US until we face regular consistent gasoline prices above $5 per gallon. We also need to see the low end airfares double for short trips.

HSR will be cost effective and built only when the cost of other passenger transportation - air and private auto - rises to much higher levels - 2 to 3 times current prices, inflation adjusted.

To support HSR, cities like CLT, RDU, Toledo, Cleveland, Pittsburgh need working light rail networks which link the HSR terminals to the major work centers and center city.

It is not just HSR which is needed, but we need a completely different destination mass transit model.

If HSR were to magically go into place today on the Chicago to Pittsburgh route, of the North Carolina routes, or the New Orleans to Houston route on another thread - you still have the problem of passenger pickup and delivery.

There are not parking lots near the rail terminals to support high traffic levels, there are not rental car agencies and lots to support them either.

Rail seldom works if it is used as an airport replacement.

I've taken the train from Paris to London, and one reason I did so was the door to door time was faster. But taking HSR from Dallas to Houston - just a slightly longer distance - I would not save time because of the 30-40 miles on each end of the airport to airport or station to station would still remain.


User currently offlineRFields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 32
Reply 7, posted (4 years 12 months 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 1481 times:



Quoting ERJ170 (Reply 5):
they lease use to Norfolk Southern and CSX..

But I'm certain the freight lines have priority and the ability to make passenger rail wait on freight.

Pax needs to be on their own, sole use rails.


User currently offlinePPVRA From Brazil, joined Nov 2004, 8956 posts, RR: 40
Reply 8, posted (4 years 12 months 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 1475 times:

Tolling the interstate highway system and smaller state highways could spur growth of pax rail lines again. Even intra-city lines.

Short of that, the subsidies of freeways is too much for rail companies to survive on IMO.



"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
User currently offlineGarnetpalmetto From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 5385 posts, RR: 53
Reply 9, posted (4 years 12 months 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 1457 times:



Quoting ERJ170 (Reply 5):

Yes, it's supposed to get up to 8x daily service by 2025.. but right now it's all using the 1960s equipment.

But in fairness that 1960s equipment is in pretty amazing shape. I rode the Piedmont round trip a year or two and was amazed at how new the car I was on looked, especially considering how old it actually was!

Quoting RFields5421 (Reply 6):
To support HSR, cities like CLT, RDU, Toledo, Cleveland, Pittsburgh need working light rail networks which link the HSR terminals to the major work centers and center city.

Light rail was in the plans for the Triangle but without Federal funding, it died a slow death and then-Sen. Dole had no interest in supporting it. That being said, it appears that the state is fast moving in a toll road direction - the portion of NC-540 that's going to run from I-40 to NC-55 south of Apex will be tolled once it opens and I believe the plan is ultimately to toll the entire Outer Loop.



South Carolina - too small to be its own country, too big to be a mental asylum.
User currently offlineFerrydxer From United States of America, joined Jul 2009, 50 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (4 years 12 months 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 1401 times:



Quoting RFields5421 (Reply 3):
I have several thousand dollars of model trains in my upstairs game room.

Ditto on that. I'm just getting started with an N scale layout with a theme of the Burlington Northern just after the 1970 merger of the GN, NP, SP&S, and the CB&Q. It will be quite colorful.

Quoting RFields5421 (Reply 3):
That gets expensive quickly. Buying land, condemming property, building new roadbed, bridges, overpasses, fencing for animal and people exclusion.

Not to mention all of the required environmental impact studies, NIMBY and environmental wacko lawsuits that would add to the cost exponentially.



Government: FUBAR on everything we touch!
User currently offlineERJ170 From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 6761 posts, RR: 17
Reply 11, posted (4 years 12 months 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 1374 times:



Quoting RFields5421 (Reply 6):
you still have the problem of passenger pickup and delivery.

Agreed.. in order to make rail work, the correct infrastructure has to be there.. mainly multi-modual exchanges. Whether that be bus routes, Light rail, brt, taxis, or walking distance destinations.. it has to be available. I think that cities that have rail stops should be required to maintain the stations and provide transportation options.. much like an airport, a railstation should be city managed (or it could be a seperated entity like RDU)



Aiming High and going far..
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