Posts Tagged ‘Amtrak’s Piedmonts’

Amtrak to Begin Using Raleigh Station July 10

July 7, 2018

Amtrak will begin using the new Raleigh Union Station on July 10, more than two months after a dedication ceremony was held for the new facility.

The $87 million station was to have opened last year, but was delayed due to a problem with the platforms being too steep for federal ADA regulations.

Raleigh is served by Amtrak’s New York-Miami Silver Star, the New York-Charlotte Carolinian and the Piedmont Service trains operating between Raleigh and Charlotte.

Amtrak said the last train to use the current Raleigh station will be Piedmont No. 78, due into Raleigh at 10:10 p.m. on July 9.

The first train to use the new station will be the 6:30 a.m. departure of Piedmont No. 73.

Raleigh Union Station is located at 510 West Martin Street, about a mile north of the current depot.

Amtrak said the new station has 26,000 square feet of which 9,200 square feet are devoted to passenger areas.

In a service advisory, Amtrak said all parking at Raleigh Union Station is paid.

Parking spots are available across the street from the station in a parking deck connected to a building called The Dillon.

Upon entering, take a ticket from the machine and have it ready when exiting. Parking costs $2 per hour or $18 maximum per day, paid by credit card only when exiting parking deck.

There is limited short-term and disability parking in front of the station. Enter from West Street and drive into the traffic circle. Parking spots are on the left. Parking costs $1.25 per hour and there is a two-hour limit. Pay by credit card or coins at the meter.

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Trains To Make Stops in Thomasville, NC

May 21, 2018

Amtrak has announced that select Piedmont and Carolinian trains will make a special stop at Thomasville, North Carolina, on May 28 for the city’s Memorial Day events.

These include Train 80 at 8:10 a.m., Train 73 at 8:45 a.m.,Train 74 at 1:13 p.m., and Train 75 at 1:45 p.m.

Thomasville is not a scheduled stop for the New York-Charlotte Carolinian or any of the Raleigh-Charlotte Piedmont trains.

Additional Piedmont to Start June 4

May 2, 2018

A third daily Piedmont roundtrip will be added between Raleigh and Charlotte, North Carolina, on June 4.

That will bring the level of service the two cities to four roundtrips a day, including the Charlotte-New York Carolinian.

The new Piedmont will leave Raleigh at 3 p.m. and arrive in Charlotte at 6:10 p.m. It will leave Charlotte at 7 p.m. and reach Raleigh at 10:11 p.m.

The Piedmont and Carolinian trains are sponsored by NCDOT and operated by Amtrak.

NCDOT Complete Piedmont Rail Project

January 12, 2018

A seven-year project to rehabilitate a rail line used by Amtrak trains in North Carolina has come to a close.

Known as the Piedmont Improvement Program, it sought to upgrade the infrastructure used by passenger and freight trains between Charlotte and Raleigh. This included making the route safer and more efficient and reliable.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation said more than 40 rail projects were completed. This included constructing 13 new bridges over or under highways to prevent train/vehicle collisions, laying 27 miles of double track between Greensboro and Charlotte, making the route between both cities now double track, and closing nearly 40 street-level roadway crossings.

The state also funded the addition of locomotives and passengers cars for Amtrak’s Piedmont service and upgraded four stations between Cary and Kannapolis.

“The Piedmont Improvement Program has put our state on the right path for the future by not only improving connectivity for passenger customers, but also serving as a catalyst for economic improvement through freight rail service, locally and nationally,” said NCDOT Chief Deputy Secretary David Howard in a statement.

Railroads participating in the program included Amtrak, CSX, Norfolk Southern and the North Carolina Railroad Company.

Cary NC Ranked Amtrak’s Top Station

November 15, 2017

A customer satisfaction survey has found Cary, North Carolina, to have the highest-rated Amtrak station.

The station, which is served by the Piedmont, Carolinian and Silver Star trains, earned the highest score for “overall station experience” with a score of 97 percent.

The Cary station topped more than 450 Amtrak stations across the country.

The survey asked Amtrak passengers to judge stations based on such criteria as cleanliness, safety, clarity of signs, friendliness of station workers and ease in boarding trains.

Cary served 85,000 passengers in 2016 boarding and alighting from eight trains a day. The station was built in 1996 to replace a depot that was razed in the 1970s. It is the fourth busiest Amtrak station in North Carolina.

Sunset Ltd to Return, More Cancellations Announced

September 9, 2017

One pair of Amtrak trains is set to return, but much of Amtrak’s service in the Southeast is going to be suspended due to impending Hurricane Irma.

Amtrak said on Friday that the Sunset Limited will resume operating the length of its route between New Orleans and Los Angeles next week.

Service will resumes effective with the departures of Train 2 on Sept. 13 from Los Angeles and Train 1 on Sept. 16, from New Orleans.

Operations of the Sunset Limited has been suspended between New Orleans and San Antonio due to flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey in the Houston area.

In the meantime Hurricane Irma is set to make landfall on Florida this weekend and Amtrak has canceled numerous trains in anticipation.

The Silver Star and Silver Meteor from Miami to New York are cancelled for Sept. 9 – 11. The Silver Service trains from New York to Miami are cancelled for Sept. 8 – 10.

The southbound Auto Train is cancelled through Sept. 9. The northbound Auto Train is cancelled on Sept. 9 – 11.

The southbound Palmetto from New York City to Savannah, Georgia, is cancelled from Sept. 9 – 12. Its northbound counterpart is canceled between Sept. 10-13.

Schedule track work that was to be performed by Norfolk Southern in North Carolina has been canceled due to the impending storm.

Therefore the Carolinian and Piedmont trains that were to have been canceled for the track work on Sept. 12 will operate as scheduled.

Charlotte Station Plan Continues to Roll

September 6, 2017

The Charlotte Area Transit System continues to seek a new transportation center that would serve Amtrak in the city’s uptown area.

The center is expected to be built on a 17-acre site along  Norfolk Southern tracks between Bank of American Stadium and Ninth Street, an area that is now mostly surface parking lots.

It will be connected to the uptown transit center and the Blue Line light rail by a streetcar line being built on Trade Street.

Tina Votaw, the Charlotte Gateway Station project manager, said utility work is expected to start in early 2018.

Design work for the five new bridges at the site is expected to be completed this year. Votaw said that if everything goes according to plan, the station would open in 2024.

The first components of the project will cost an estimated $70 million to $80 million. The project has received a $30 million federal grant and a pledge of $48.75 million from the North Carolina Department of Transportation. The city of Charlotte has promised $33 million.

Amtrak currently used a small facility on North Tryon Street. Serving Charlotte is the New York-Orleans Crescent.

The Carolinian and Piedmont trains originate and terminate in Charlotte.

Votaw cautioned that much needs to happen before the new station can be built. Chief among those is the development of a partnership with a private developer.

CATS is expected to issue an open-ended request for proposals to see how developers suggest building the station.

“We’ve got this property,” Votaw said. “We want a station sooner rather than later. Tell us how you would do it.”

Greyhound owns a 1.3-acre tract on West Trade Street at the Gateway Station site that is uses as its Charlotte bus station.

CATS expected to buy that property and allow intercity bus-service on a “roll-through” basis.

Bus maintenance and other operations would need to be relocated.

Rail passenger trains last stopped in uptown Charlotte in 1962 when the Southern Railway opened the North Tryon Street depot that planners consider to be small, outdated and disconnected from the city’s downtown center.

NC Puts Rebuilt Locomotives Into Service

August 3, 2017

Amtrak and North Carolina officials this week christened two rebuilt locomotives that are used in Piedmont Service between Charlotte and Raleigh.

The rebuilt locomotives have been named Town of Cary and the City of Kannapolis, both of which are served by the Piedmonts as well as the New York-Charlotte Carolinian.

Each engine was rebuilt mechanically and electrically. The Kannapolis locomotive’s 3,000 horsepower engine was upgraded to meet the Environmental Protection Agency’s Tier 0+ emission standards.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation noted that the purchase and rehabilitation of the locomotives cost $2.15 million each. New units would have cost $6 million to $7 million.

The North Carolina locomotives were built in 1990 for Toronto’s GO Transit system.

Track Work to Affect Service in North Carolina on July 19

July 13, 2017

Track work in Raleigh, North Carolina, will affect the operation of Amtrak’s Piedmont, Carolinian and Silver Star trains on July 18 and 19.

On July 18, Train 1092 will depart Miami at 9:15 a.m., two hours and 35 minutes earlier than its current schedule, and operate on the earlier schedule through its arrival into Philadelphia at 2:20 p.m.

In a service advisory, Amtrak said Train 92 will wait in Philadelphia until it departs at 5:10 p.m, then operate according to its normal schedule at all remaining stations on the route.

Due to the earlier train departure, the train number for northbound Train 92 departing Miami on July 18 has been changed to Train 1092.

The earlier schedule for the Silver Star will also affect certain Thruway Bus routes.

Thruway Bus 6292 will depart earlier from Lakeland, Florida, while Thruway Bus 6092 will depart earlier from Fort Myers, Florida.

Passengers ticketed on those routes are urged to contact Amtrak for updated schedules by visiting Amtrak.com, using the Amtrak mobile apps or by calling 800-USA-RAIL (800-872-7245).

On July 19, the Carolinian and Piedmont service will be cancelled and no alternative transportation provided. This affects Trains 73, 74, 75, 76, 79 and 80.

NC Service Disruptions Set for June 26

June 15, 2017

More service disruptions are in store for Amtrak in North Carolina due to Norfolk Southern track work.

On June 26, Piedmont Service Nos. 73 and 76 will be canceled without alternative transportation being provided.

Piedmont Nos. 74 and 75 will operate between Raleigh and Greensboro. There will be no service to High Point, Salisbury, Kannapolis and Charlotte.

The Carolinian will operate between New York and Greensboro. No service will be provided to High Point, Salisbury, Kannapolis and Charlotte.