Posts Tagged ‘Charlotte North Carolina’

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Charlotte in 1962 when the Southern Railway opened the North Tryon Street depot that planners consider to be small, outdated and disconnected from the city’s downtown center.

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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.

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.

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.