Posts Tagged ‘Raleigh North Carolina’

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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Opening of Raleigh Station Delayed Again

June 30, 2018

Failure to complete construction of the platforms on time has further delayed the opening of Raleigh Union Station.

The new facility was to have opened on June 27, but the slope of the platforms still does not meet the standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation now expects the station to open sometime in July.

The issue is that the slope cannot be more than 2 percent. That would allow water to run off, but not be too steep as to cause such wheeled objects as strollers and wheelchairs to roll.

Officials said warm weather has hindered work to place concrete in places to fix the slope problem.

The station was originally planned to open last year, but was then delayed to a May 2018 opening, which slipped to June.

Raleigh is served by Amtrak’s Silver Star, Carolinian and Piedmont Service trains.

Raleigh Station to Open on June 27

June 12, 2018

Officials expect the new station serving Amtrak in Raleigh, North Carolina, to open on June 27.

The opening was delayed due to the slope of the station platforms being 1 percent too steep in places and thus not meeting the Americans With Disabilities Act regulations.

A contractor is making corrections to the platform design. By law The slow cannot be more than 2 percent to allow water to drain without placing wheeled objects at constant risk of rolling off the platform.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on April 30 with rail service to the station expected to begin in May. But that was pushed back due to the platform issues.

Raleigh Gets Glimpse of New Union Station

May 3, 2018

The public got an early look at the new Union Station in Raleigh, North Carolina, this week when hundreds turned out for a dedication ceremony.

The station was built in the shell of the former Dillon Supply Company steel warehouse and took more than eight years to come to fruition.

The $111.4 million it cost to create the station was largely paid for with more than $70 million from the federal government. The rest of the funding came from state and city government funds.

Amtrak will begin serving the station in early June and it will replace a much smaller facility that the passenger carrier now uses across the tracks from the new facility.

Raleigh Union Station is located on the western edge of downtown and features a 9,200-square-foot waiting room that with its high-backed wooden benches appears much like a traditional railroad depot.

“One of the great visions for this facility was to create an entryway into downtown,” Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane said during the ceremonies.

“And in a sense, that is what we have created — a front door to the city in the heart of the city.”

Union Station will also accommodate bus service, but that section of the facility is not expected to be finished for another four years.

The building housing the station kept many features of the old steel warehouse, including the massive steel pillars and ceiling beams in the main hall.

Developers left in place two overhead gantries once used to move steel around the building. Also left was the large sliding steel door on the back wall.

Steel plates from the warehouse were used to line the walkway leading to the raised platform, which is 920 feet in length.

That is long enough to accommodate the Silver Star, which along with the Carolinian and Piedmont Service will use the new station.

A short platform at the existing station meant that the Silver Star had to stop twice.

The raised platform is at train floor length level so passengers will not have to ascend or descend steps from their trains.

It is the first train-level platform in North Carolina and one of the few in the South.

Designers left room for another platform and a set of tracks for commuter or high-speed trains that may someday serve Raleigh.

The front of Union Station features a circular driveway and a short-term parking lot with a capacity of two dozen vehicles.

Parking spaces for the station have been set aside in the public parking garage for the Dillon office tower across West Street. That parking will cost $2 an hour or $18 for the day.

Inside the station there are escalators to carry passengers from a tunnel that leads to the boarding platforms.

A five-foot-tall clock hangs on the wall just above the ticket counter. Train information is available on electronic boards.

There is room for shops and restaurants, but no leases for either have yet been signed.

York Properties is seeking tenants for 3,847 square feet of retail space on the ground floor, 6,262 square feet of offices on the second floor and a 2,702-square-foot retail or restaurant spot with a rooftop patio on the third floor.

Amtrak served 151,000 people in Raleigh in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2017, making it the second busiest train station in North Carolina behind Charlotte. The station will serve 10 trains a day after it opens.

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.

New Raleigh Station Dedicated

April 30, 2018

A dedication ceremony was held on Monday for the new Raleigh (North Carolina) Union Station.

Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane said the facility will serve as a transportation hub and activity center in downtown.

The facility is expected to open in early June and cost $100 million to build.

The 26,000 square foot building will be available for public events. City officials expect restaurants and stores may open there in time.

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.

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.

Roanoke Station Platform Work Begins

February 14, 2017

Construction began this week on the platform to be used by Amtrak in Roanoke, Virginia. The project is expected to take 300 days to complete.

Amtrak 4Roanoke is expected to gain Amtrak service through an extension of an existing Northeast Regional train. Service will be a daily roundtrip to Washington that departs in the morning and returns in the evening.

Service is projected to begin in October after the station work is completed. The Roanoke station is expected to cost $10.9 million.

The city best known as the former headquarters of the Norfolk & Western Railway, has not had intercity rail service since the Oct. 1, 1979, discontinuance of the Hilltopper.

In other Amtrak station news, work on the Union Station in Raleigh, North Carolina, is reported to be on schedule with half of the project already completed.

The facility will serve Amtrak trains and regional buses.

The capital of North Carolina is the northern terminus of the state-funded Piedmont trains and is also a stop for the New York-Charlotte Carolinian and the New York-Miami Silver Star.

The station will be located at the end of Martin Street on a site that once had an empty warehouse.

Union Station is projected to open in January 2018. The cost of the project is $90 million with the city paying about $15 million and the balance being funded by state and federal grants.

FRA Southeastern Regional Rail Service Study May Lead to Restoring Chicago-Florida Service

January 7, 2017

Discussions about establishing a Jacksonville, Florida, to Nashville, Tennessee, intercity rail corridor are being seen as a precursor for linking Chicago and the Southeast by rail again.

Amtrak 3The discussion is part of the Southeast Regional Rail Plan study being undertaken by the Federal Railroad Administration.

Other routes being discussed include creating connections from existing Amtrak service to Ashville and Wilmington, North Carolina; and the North Carolina and South Carolina beaches and tourist destinations.

The study also is looking at opportunities for other east-west corridors, including those that might connect northward, e.g., Petersburg-Lynchburg, Virginia; Roanoke-Bristol, Virginia;  Knoxville-Nashville, Tennessee; and Nashville- Memphis, Tennessee.

A focus of the study is finding ways to bring service to college towns and their high concentration of frequent travelers.

Amtrak’s Floridian linked Chicago and Florida until being discontinued in October 1979.

There was direct service between Chicago and the Southeast in the middle to late 1980s and the early 1980s when through cars operated on the Capitol Limited and Silver Star via a connection in Washington.

In a related development, Amtrak said it expects to begin service between Lynchburg and Roanoke this fall provided that adequate station facilities are finished in Roanoke by that time.

The service will be funded by the State of Virginia and is an extension of a Northeast Regional service train that now originates in Lynchburg. Roanoke lost Amtrak service on Oct. 1, 1979, when the Catlettsburg (Kentucky)-Washington Hilltopper was discontinued.

The Virgnia Department of Rail is studying funding another train from Washington to Lynchburg that might be extended to Roanoke.

In another development, construction of a union station in Raleigh, North Carolina, recently passed the halfway point and is expected to open in early 2018.

Work began in May 2015 for the $90 million facility that will be served by Amtrak and Go Triangle bus service.

Once completed, Raleigh Union Station will have restaurants and shops and provide a venue for events.

Raleigh is served by the North Carolina-funded Piedmonts between Raleigh and Charlotte, the New York-Charlotte Carolinan, and the New York-Miami Silver Star.