Posts Tagged ‘Charlotte-Raleigh corridor’

3rd Piedmont Service RT To be Reinstated

March 27, 2021

Amtrak in cooperation with the North Carolina Department of Transportation will restore the third daily Piedmont Service roundtrip on April 5 in the Charlotte-Raleigh corridor.

In a news release, Amtrak said this will restore Piedmont Service to its pre-pandemic level.

The state also funds a fourth pair of trains in the corridor, the Charlotte-New York Carolinian.

Intermediate stops include Cary, Durham, Burlington, Greensboro, High Point, Salisbury and Kannapolis. 

Piedmonts to be Suspended, Carolinian Reinstated

May 15, 2020

Amtrak’s Piedmont Service trains 75 and 76 will be suspended after their trips on May 17 because the North Carolina Department of Transportation is trying to save money.

Piedmonts 73, 74, 77 and 78 had been suspended earlier due to ridership declines during the COVID-19 pandemic.

NCDOT officials said tax revenue is down sharply during the pandemic and the agency has been forced to trim spending.

However, service between Charlotte and Raleigh won’t vanish completely.

The New York-Charlotte Carolinian will resume operating on May 18 but will operate only between Charlotte and Raleigh.

NCDOT Director of the Rail Division Jason Orthner said the state hopes that resumption of service by the Carolinian to New York will happen sometime in June.

However, the Amtrak reservation system shows the Carolinian as operating north of Raleigh starting June 1.

Currently Piedmonts 75 and 76 are the only intercity rail service between Charlotte and Raleigh.

Orthner said suspending Piedmont Service will save NCDOT about $13,000 a day, primarily due to not operating the state-owned locomotives and passenger cars.

The equipment used on the Carolinian is owned by Amtrak.

He said NCDOT continues to pay Amtrak provide passenger rail service in North Carolina during the pandemic, though at a 20 percent discount because of a subsidy provided through the CARES Act.

How long the Piedmonts are suspended will depend on how long the pandemic lasts and when state finances improve.

“We don’t have a definitive timeframe yet,” Orthner said.

NCDOT is projecting a loss of $300 million less in revenue than expected in March, April and May, and forecasts losses will be higher in the coming year.

Officials have attributed the revenue loss to falling taxes collected from the fuel sale and fewer fees being paid to the Division of Motor Vehicles.

Under normal circumstances Amtrak operates four roundtrips between Charlotte and Raleigh per day, all funded by the state.

2 Piedmonts to Be Canceled on Feb. 18

February 14, 2020

Amtrak Piedmont Trains 74 and 77 will be canceled on Feb. 18 due to Norfolk Southern track work.

The trains operate in North Carolina, between Charlotte and Raleigh. In a service advisory Amtrak said no alternate transportation will be provided.

All other Carolinian (New York-Charlotte) and Piedmont service trains will operate normally.



Track Work to Result in Piedmont Cancellations

September 7, 2019

Track work being performed by Norfolk Southern will result in some Piedmont Service being canceled on Sept. 9 and 10.

Affected are Trains 74, 75, 76 and 77 in North Carolina between Raleigh and Charlotte.

No alternative transportation is being provided, but all Piedmont Service trains and the Carolinian will operate normally on these dates.


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.

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.

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.

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 Locomotives Certified by EPA

February 22, 2018

A passenger locomotive owned by the North Carolina Department of Transportation  has been certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection  Agency as an emissions-reduction system.

It uses a technology known as blended after-treatment system, which uses catalytic reduction to chemically remove diesel engine emission pollutants from the locomotive’s exhaust before it’s released into the air.

The system is designed to reduce four diesel exhaust pollutants: nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and particulate matter.

In a news release, NCDOT said the EPA has determined that all four can cause chronic negative health effects, such as heart and lung disease.

The work on the locomotive was done by Rail Propulsion Systems of California. The company developed the system for use on passenger locomotives.

NCDOT’s rail division collaborated with Rail Propulsion Systems for the past two years to install and test BATS’ functionality.

NCDOT is the first U.S. rail agency to demonstrate the technology on an in-service passenger locomotive.

The EPA certification will enable NCDOT to pursue state and federal grant opportunities to retrofit BATS onto its full fleet of locomotives that are assigned to Amtrak trains using the Piedmont route between Raleigh and Charlotte.