Posts Tagged ‘Amtrak in North Carolina’

Track Work to Dispute Carolinian, Piedmonts

October 26, 2019

Norfolk Southern track work will disrupt operations of some Piedmont and Carolinian trains on Oct. 29.

In a service advisory, Amtrak said Piedmont Service Trains 74, 75, 76 and 77 will be cancelled and alternate transportation will not be provided.

The Carolinian from Charlotte, North Carolina, to New York, will originate at Raleigh, North Carolina.

No alternate transportation is being provided between Charlotte and Raleigh.

All other Carolinian and Piedmont trains will operate normally on Oct. 29.

 

Extra Stops in North Carolina This Week for Events

October 20, 2019

Amtrak’s Carolinian and Piedmont trains are making additional stops in North Carolina to serve the state fair and Lexington BBQ Festival.

In a service advisory, Amtrak said Train 80 will arrive at the State Fair at 9:53 a.m. and only discharge passengers through Oct. 27

Train 77 will depart the State Fair at 3:09 p.m. and only receive passengers.

The Lexington BBQ Festival will be served by Amtrak on Oct. 26 with Trains 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79 and 80 stopping in Lexington.

New Cars Coming to Piedmont Trains

August 27, 2019

The oldest cars currently assigned to Amtrak’s Piedmont service will be replaced using a $77 million grant.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation received a grant from the Federal Railroad Administration to upgrade its Piedmont rail car fleet.

NCDOT officials said they’ll use the grant to support a fleet of new coaches assigned to the service that operates between Raleigh and Charlotte.

The project also includes improvements to NCDOT’s locomotive and rail-car maintenance facility in Charlotte that supports the Piedmont fleet.

Planning and engineering for the facility will begin once a contract agreement has been signed with the FRA.

CSX Track Work to Disrupt Amtrak Southeast Trains

July 16, 2019

CSX track work will cause widespread service disruptions, particularly in North Carolina, starting on July 22 and extending to Sept. 19.

The New York-Charlotte Carolinian will operate only on Friday, Saturday and Sunday over the length of its route.

On Monday through Thursday Nos. 79 and 80 will operate only between Raleigh and Charlotte.

No alternative transportation is being provided to missed stations.

Starting July 21, the northbound Silver Star will depart Miami at 3:40 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday and operate as No. 1092.

In a service advisory, Amtrak said No. 1092 will operate two hours later than its published schedule from Miami to Jacksonville, Florida; three hours later from Jacksonville to Savannah, Georgia; and four hours later north of Savannah.

The northbound Star will operate on its regular schedule from Miami to New York on Thursday through Saturday. No. 1092 will stop at Wilson, North

The southbound Palmetto will operate on its normal schedule from New York to Richmond, Virginia , but starting July 22 will depart Richmond an hour later than the current schedule Monday through Thursday and continue that schedule to Savannah.

The Palmetto will operate normally Friday through Sunday.

The southbound Silver Star and northbound Palmetto will operate normally throughout the period that track work is being conducted.

A Little Promontory in North Carolina

May 10, 2019

The Rail Division of the North Carolina Department of Transportation got into the spirit of the 150th anniversary of the Golden Spike by posing two of its locomotives in a manner that duplicated the famous photo made at Promontory, Utah.

It posed F59PHI No. 1869 with cab control unit No. 101 along with agency staff in a recreation of the iconic image made in 1869 by A.J. Russell.

The agency also used the event to promote $1 fares being offered for travel aboard Piedmont Service trains on May 10 and 11.

The discount fares quickly sold out said Rail Division Deputy Director Allan Paul, noting that each train has a capacity of 300.

“Many of them will be first-time riders and lots of families,” Paul said of those who purchased the tickets.” We hope they will have a good Piedmont experience and become repeat customers.”

Officials said that ridership of the Piedmont trains, which are operated by Amtrak, has risen 33 percent in the first half of fiscal year 2019 and ticket revenue is up 39 percent. The first half of the fiscal year ended in March.

Some Piedmonts Canceled Due to Track Work

May 9, 2019

Some of Amtrak’s Piedmont Service trains will be canceled on certain dates next month due to track work being performed by Norfolk Southern.

Nos. 74, 75, 76 and 77 will not operate between Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina, on June 10, 11, 24, 25, and July 1, 2 and 9.

No alternative transportation is being offered to those already booked to travel on those trains on those dates.

The track work will not affect the New York-Charlotte Carolinian or other Piedmont trains on those dates.

Carolinian at Raleigh

February 27, 2019

Back in June 1996 the National Railway Historical Society held its annual convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.

One of the excursions planned for the convention was a rare mileage trip on CSX toward the coast. But it fell through due in part to CSX opposition.

That left me with a day open for which there might have been a scheduled alternative activity, but I don’t recall.

Instead, I created my own excursion riding Amtrak’s Carolinian to and from Rocky Mount, North Carolina.

There was enough time at Raleigh to get off the train and make a few photographs, including this one.

Amtrak has since moved to another station in North Carolina’s capitol city.

Ashville May Get Amtrak Bus Connection

February 25, 2019

North Carolina lawmakers are considering funding a bus connection from Asheville, North Carolina to the Amtrak network.

The transportation committee of the House of Representatives is considering two-year program to spend $890,000 for the bus connection between Asheville and Salisbury, which is served by Amtrak’s Piedmont Service, Carolinian and Crescent.

Asheville regional public officials are hoping that North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper will agree to the funding.

If the funding is approved, the bus connection could begin in 2020. Longer term, Asheville interests hope to see a rail connection established.

Asheville was served by the Southern Railway until that service ended in 1975.

 

Somewhere in North Carolina

February 12, 2019

Some memories that some photographs trigger tend to stay with you longer than others.

Such is the case with the image of Amtrak’s northbound Silver Star on Dec. 14, 1979.

I created this image from an open vestibule and have no idea where the train was at the time other than passing through North Carolina.

My sole purpose for riding this train was to ride the train. My mother had died two months earlier and I wanted to get away for a while.

I wasn’t traveling to visit family or friends, to go sightseeing, or to make a business trip. I was traveling just to travel.

I still had vacation time to use at work so I booked a long Amtrak journey that initially took me from east central Illinois aboard the Panama Limited to Chicago.

I then rode to New York on the Lake Shore Limited, my first experience aboard that train and my first experience in a Heritage fleet sleeper. From New York it was south to Washington on the Crescent, my first time riding that train, and a connection to the Silver Meteor to Miami. It was my first time aboard the Meteor.

After an overnight stay in a motel I was back aboard the train, taking the Silver Star to Washington. It was my first time aboard the Silver Star.

I stayed overnight in a motel in suburban Virginia and then took the Colonial to New York and a connection with the Lake Shore Limited back to Chicago.

The last segment was back home aboard the Panama Limited. During this trip I picked up a lot of new miles.

Spending days at a time riding trains just to ride trains was something that I did back during that time of my life. Today, it is something that I rarely do.

There is much to see here that can’t be seen anymore, starting with the two SDP40F units (Nos. 647 and 645) wearing the Phase I livery.

None of the streamliner era passenger cars visible here are still on the Amtrak roster. Note that one of those cars appears to be a former Southern Railway car that Amtrak acquired when it took over the Southern Crescent on Feb. 1, 1979.

I still have a number of memories of this trip. They include milling about the platform in Miami to get photos of the train, a sunset over a lake as the Star cruised through Florida, the process of joining the Miami and St. Petersburg sections at Aurbundale, trying to sleep sprawled across two coach seats and disembarking at Richmond to make more photographs.

I recall at one point during the night feeling the train stop and seeing light from the station platform lights illuminating the inside of my coach. But I didn’t bother to raise up to look out the window to see where we were.

To this day still wonder where that was. Probably it was in South Carolina.

Thus far this has turned out to be the last time that I’ve ridden either the Silver Meteor or Silver Star.

Maybe some day I’ll get back aboard one or both of those trains. If so, it will be a nice ride, but it can’t be the same as it was on this day.

Winston-Salem Hopes to See Amtrak Some Day

February 12, 2019

Winston-Salem, North Carolina, has a restored railroad station that is ready to accommodate Amtrak if the state can be persuaded to extend its service there.

The closest that Amtrak comes to Winston-Salem is Greensboro, which is 30 miles to the east.

Greensboro is severed by the state-funded Piedmonts and Carolinian, as well as the New York-New Orleans Crescent.

There has been some discussion to extend the state-funded service to Winston-Salem in order to serve Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem State University, and the North Carolina School of the Arts.

In the meantime the city is poised to celebrate the completion of an $11 million restoration of the Union Station that was built in 1926 to serve the Southern Railway, Norfolk & Western, and the Winston-Salem Southbound.

The station once served 20 trains a day, but last saw scheduled passenger service on June 15.

For 37 years the station was the home of an auto repair shop. However, much of the station’s interior remained intact during that time, including the flooring survived intact and several lighting fixtures.

The city purchased the former station in 2012 and plans to use some of it for its own offices. There are plans to lease space to tenants on the main level and make the large waiting room available for banquets and other events.

An open-window balcony overlooking the former concourse will serve as a railfan viewing area of Norfolk Southern tracks.