Posts Tagged ‘Raleigh North Carolina’

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.

Carolinian at Raleigh

February 27, 2019

Back in June 1996 the National Railway Historical Society held its annual convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.

One of the excursions planned for the convention was a rare mileage trip on CSX toward the coast. But it fell through due in part to CSX opposition.

That left me with a day open for which there might have been a scheduled alternative activity, but I don’t recall.

Instead, I created my own excursion riding Amtrak’s Carolinian to and from Rocky Mount, North Carolina.

There was enough time at Raleigh to get off the train and make a few photographs, including this one.

Amtrak has since moved to another station in North Carolina’s capitol city.

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.

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.