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$545M for NC High Speed Rail

Great news for NC rail today. A 90 mph rail corridor between Raleigh and Charlotte is the vision behind 30 projects worth $525M announced today as part of the Obama administration’s nation-wide $8B ARRA high speed rail initiative. The corridor’s projects will upgrade track, rolling stock and stations with the aim of doubling the round trips taken on the route. A further $25M of ARRA dollars will be spent on anti-congestion projects on the Raleigh-Richmond section of the line.

Needless to say, the projects will create much needed construction jobs.

Gene Conti, NC Secretary of Transportation said today:

This historic day is the culmination of more than a decade of work by state DOTs across the country to revive passenger rail as a major transportation option in America. This is also only the beginning of that resurgence. States stand ready to plan, build, and deliver high speed rail for the United States.

Conti is also the Chair of the AASHTO Standing Committee on Rail. AASHTO is the umbrella orgnziation representing 50 state Departments of Transportation.

6 Comments

  1. pino

    January 29, 2010 at 10:30 am

    Great news for NC rail today. A 90 mph rail corridor between Raleigh and Charlotte is the vision behind 30 projects worth $525M announced today as part of the Obama administration’s nation-wide $8B ARRA high speed rail initiative.

    Two questions:

    1. What metric do you use to gauge the success of rail?
    2. How much money would have to be spent on rail to make even the bluest of Liberals blanch?

  2. Dave Johnson

    January 30, 2010 at 11:53 am

    Great news? Really? If private business saw an opportunity to make money off of this, it would have already been done. Now we are going to waste a bunch of money on a “project” that will likely go over budget. Then the taxpayers have to maintain it. Complete waste of money. Hardly good news for NC tax payers.

  3. Commuter

    February 26, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    Rail projects are not like other wasteful government projects. Fares are charged to passengers. Advertisements are allowed on trains and in the stations, which help to pay for and maintain the system.

    On the map, looks like Raleigh would become a major hub of where rail lines connect. Could Raleigh and other points in NC become a tourist destination or major business hub as a result of high speed rail?

  4. Ty

    June 22, 2010 at 9:09 am

    I for one am ecstatic for NC. I am glad that this state has been so progressive and actually has vision to have taken the lead on this. An article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (1/28/10) stated that this rail corridor through NC positions Charlotte, Raleigh and the state to become very competative and chastises Georgia for being stuck in the “wasteful spending” mentality (http://www.ajc.com/news/georgia-politics-elections/north-carolina-invests-wins-286101.html).

    You have to spend money to stay competitive. It’s called an investment in the future. Mobility is a huge part of staying competitive, particularly in such an interconnected global marketplace. If we don’t do it, we will pay for it in the future. It’s time America joins the 21st century and stop thinking that what worked for us in the 20th will continue working in the future. I’m proud of NC for having the foresight to realize that.

  5. Chris Collins

    June 30, 2010 at 5:39 am

    I don’t like the corridor proposed. The most direct path from Charlotte to Raleigh is HW49/64. The proposed corridor mimics I85/I40. This already has mature interstate flow. Why make the car and rail routes the same when they are incompatible? There will be too many stops on this corridor. I think having one stop mid way between Charlotte and Raleigh in Asheboro and connecting the Triad (Winston/Greensboro/HP) via Asheboro is the intelligent route. This would be faster for everyone. Using existing rail lines is a waste. This was the “cost savings” for Charlotte’s light rail. They ended up tearing up the existing rail and replaced the entire path. They did not reuse anything but had the extra cost of demolition of the old rail. Putting a new rail along HW49/64 could open the possibility for a suspended rail (monorail) to get the train off the ground and reduce the possibility for disaster and need for train crossings. With a suspended track two way transport could be an option (top and suspended below) without taking more real estate and speeds greater than 90mph could be achieved. Asheboro is about 75 miles from Charlotte and Raleigh and 30 miles from the Triad. Could you image a 200mph two way rail connecting all points? That would be <15 min each leg. I would park my car if the train was this fast. This would open daily commuting possibilities across the state and connect the entire piedmont. Later legs could be added to connect Asheville and Wilmington thereby connecting all of NC.

  6. LMB

    July 23, 2010 at 9:16 am

    90 mph isn’t “high speed rail”, and with comments like the ones below. USA will remain in 19th century transport infrastructure forever.