Posts Tagged ‘Amtrak in North Carolina’

New Charlotte Station Still Awaiting Agreements

May 24, 2017

Two years after being awarded a $30 million federal grant to build a new Amtrak station in downtown Charlotte, North Carolina, the city is still waiting for the work to begin.

The proposed Charlotte Gateway Station was lauded with much fanfare in October 2015 by former U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx, who was once the mayor of Charlotte.

Foxx said that the groundbreaking could occur within 18 months.

But now the Charlotte Area Transit System doesn’t think it can have a station ready until 2024.

Plans for a temporary station to replace what many in Charlotte describe as the existing small and dingy station off North Tryon Street apparently have been dropped.

Gateway Station is planned for Graham, Fourth and West Trade streets near BB&T Ballpark. The current station is located well north of downtown.

CATS officials recently told the Charlotte City Council that a new agreement and timetable with the state must be negotiated, a process they expect to occur by late June.

But if that agreement is not reached, then the federal funding for the new station could be at risk of being taken back by the federal government.

Charlotte is the southern terminus of the Carolinian, which originated in New York City, and the Piedmont trains that originated in Raleigh, North Carolina. The New York-New Orleans Crescent also serves Charlotte.

CATS still needs to find several million more dollars to fund the Gateway Station in addition to the federal, state and local grants it has lined up thus far. Gateway Station is expected to cost between $150 and $200 million.

The station is envisioned to become a mixed-use project that houses offices and residential units. The CATS rail line to Lake Norman would serve Gateway as well as city buses and the streetcar Gold Line.

CATS has funding pledges of $30 million in federal funds, $48.75 million from the North Carolina Department of Transportation and $33 million from the city of Charlotte.

If funding is lined up, construction would begin in 2018. Track, signal and platform work would be finished in 2021 under the current timeline.

The station itself would be built within three years of the track, signal and platform work being completed. Amtrak won’t begin using Gateway until the station is finished.

Discounted Tickets Will No Longer be Sold Aboard Carolinian, Piedmont Trains Effective June 5

May 18, 2017

Amtrak said this week that effective June 5 that discounted fares will no longer be sold aboard the Carolinian or Piedmont trains.

In a service advisory, Amtrak said that only the full undiscounted, unrestricted fare will be available for purchase and that conductors will only accept cash payments on board the train.

All Piedmont and Carolinian trains are reserved trains and seating on reserved trains is only guaranteed with a reservation.

Amtrak said passengers wishing to pay with with credit cards can make reservations and obtain eTickets at Amtrak.com, by using the Amtrak mobile apps, or by calling 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245).

eTickets can be printed at home or displayed using a smartphone. Tickets can be purchased with a credit card at stations with Quik-Trak kiosks and at Amtrak ticket offices.

Piedmonts Canceled Due to Track Work

April 13, 2017

Amtrak has cancelled operation of Piedmont Trains 74 and 75 on Monday through Thursday through May 10.

In a service advisory, Amtrak attributed the cancellation to track work being performed by Norfolk Southern.

Alternate transportation will not be provided, but another pair of Piedmont trains and the Carolinian will continue to operate between Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina.

N.C. To Uprade F59H Locomotive Used on Piedmonts

April 11, 2017

An F59H locomotive used to pull Amtrak Piedmont service trains in North Carolina is going to receive rebuilding to make it more environmentally friendly.

The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality has awarded a $39,000 grant to the Rail Division of the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

The money will be used to pay for the addition of additional technologies to the blended after-treatment system that was installed and tested on F59H locomotive 1859.

The BATS mitigates the four components of diesel exhaust that studies have found are harmful to humans.

The current system has migrated three of the four compounds to the EPA Tier 4 emissions level required for new locomotives. The fourth component, particulate matter, was lowered to Tier 3.

The NCDOT Rail Division expects to reach the Tier 4 level for particulate matter, which will bring No. 1859 to the functional equivalent of a new locomotive.

Track Work to Disrupt Atlantic Coast Service

April 5, 2017

Amtrak said the Palmetto, Carolinian and Silver Star will be affected by CSX track work on April 11 and 12.

The New York-Charlotte, North Carolina, Carolinian will operate between Raleigh, North Carolina, and Charlotte only. No trains will operate between New York and Raleigh.

The New York-Savannah, Georgia, Palmetto, will operate only between New York and Washington.

The New York-Miami Silver Star will depart Miami four hours earlier (7:50 a.m.) and operate as Train 1092.

Times at intermediate stations will be four hours earlier as well.

 

Track Work to Affect NC Amtrak Trains

April 3, 2017

Track work being performed by Norfolk Southern between Kannapolis and Charlotte, North Carolina will result in the cancellation of some Amtrak service on Monday, April 10.

Piedmont Service Nos. 73 and 75 will operate normally to Kannapolis but passengers will ride a bus to Charlotte.

Passengers for Nos. 74 and 76 will ride a bus from Charlotte to Kannapolis that will depart Charlotte 15 minutes earlier than the normal train schedules to allow the trains to depart Kannapolis on time.

There will be bus service between Charlotte and Kannapolis for passengers riding the Carolinian, No 80. The bus will depart Charlotte 15 minute earlier than the scheduled train departure time.

In a service advisory, Amtrak said that Carolinian No. 79 will operate from Kannapolis to Charlotte, but may be delayed 20 – 30 minutes departing Kannapolis due to waiting for NS crews to clear the track.

North Carolina Trains Annulled on March 13

March 9, 2017

Track work being performed by CSX and Norfolk will result in cancellation of six Amtrak trains in North Carolina on March 12.

Annulled for that day will be Piedmont Nos. 73, 74, 75 and 76 and Carolinan Nos. 79 and 80.

In a service advisory, Amtrak said no alternative transportation is being provided. The track work is being undertaken in the Raleigh, North Carolina, region.

March 6 North Carolina Service Disruptions Set, State to Launch Free Bus Transfer Program

February 28, 2017

Amtrak will suspend service at Kannapolis, North Carolina, on March 6, due to track work being performed by Norfolk Southern.

north-carolinaAffected are the Raleigh-Charlotte Piedmont trains and the New York-Charlotte Carolinian.

In a service advisory, Amtrak said that trains 73, 75 and 79 will operate normally to Salisbury. At Salisbury, express buses will operate non-stop to Charlotte.

Trains 74, 76 and 80 will originate at Salisbury with express bus service operating  non-stop from Charlotte to Salisbury.

The service advisory noted that buses will depart Charlotte 15 minutes earlier than the trains they replace.

In an another development affecting North Carolina Amtrak service, passengers boarding or disembarking in some cities will receive a free transfer to local transit buses.

Participating in the program are Salisbury Transit, Go Raleigh, Go Cary, Go Durham, Go Triangle, Greensboro Transit Authority, High Point Transit System, Concord-Kannapolis Area Transit (CK Rider), Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) and Higher Education Area Transit.

The program is set to begin on March 1 but could be delayed depending on when agreements are signed.

Salisbury Transit Manager Rodney Harrison said that the purpose of the program is to ensure that travelers aren’t stuck at a train station without a way to travel further in the city.

Harrison told the Salisbury City Council that Amtrak will reimburse the city for the bus transfers.

He also said that Amtrak passengers disembarking in Salisbury could also transfer to Rowan County’s transit service.