Carolinas Association for Passenger Trains

February 2007 Meeting Minutes

Date: February 3, 2007
Time: 1:00 P.M.
Site: Visitor's Center
City: Selma, N.C.

Board Members: Martin Wheeler, Jr., Dan Smith, Dan Smith, Gene Kirkland; Bob Bischoff, Bill Cole, Ed Locklin, Art Peterson, John Stein.

Others: Don Bell, John Bobinyec, Jim Davis, Sanford L. Korshcun, Patrick McDonough, Ann Robbins, Jack Robbins, Ernest H. Robl, Carolyn Smith, Jim Shoemaker, Jim Stevenson, Chuck Till, Haywood Watson, John Watson.

The meeting was called to order by President Martin Wheeler, Jr. He introduced Sanford L. Korschun, President, Eastern North Carolina Railroad Alliance (ENCRRA) as guest speaker.

Mr. Korschun, who had made a presentation to the CAPT Board meeting in Wilson, April 10, 2004, said he had learned a lot while working for implementation of commuter rail in eastern North Carolina, especially along the Raleigh-Goldsboro portion of a proposed Raleigh-Wilmington service. He remarked that it was a mistake to have focused almost exclusively on commuter service when a better objective is to coordinate an overall combination of a passenger and freight system. He realized the term logistics refers to people and materials.

Korschun explained the use of "pull projects" to gain the interest of the public and the freight railroads whereas his group had been pushing for “economic development.” He told of a friend, recently retired from John Deere, a multi-national company, who described to him the “just in time” strategy of scheduling supplies to arrive at a plant when needed which requires no large scale warehousing of materials. In the area of rail service this would be considered as “statewide logistics” coordination. He said Virginia Governor Mark Warner had bought into this concept when he realized that the freight railroads had to be brought into the discussion also.

He said that if the area east of I-95 were a state it would be the poorest one of all. Therefore there is a need for economic development, but better infrastructure is needed. He gave FedEx and UPS as examples of large logistics systems and said we need that type of system statewide. This is true in view of the fact that some potential passenger service might now be on the back burner due to the recent improvements of several major highways.

Gene Kirkland presented the Treasurer’s Report for the Period December 9, 2006 through January 28, 2007. He reported General Operating Funds of $4,720.80 and CAPT Challenge Funds of $6,535.00 for a total of $11, 255.80. Membership totaled 224. Gene stated that he had checked with IRS and determined it is proper for a non-profit to contribute funds to another non-profit organization. He said he would therefore send the $100 previously approved by the Board to Operation Lifesaver. A motion by Gene Kirkland to accept the report was seconded by Art Peterson and approved.

Martin reported that the revised CAPT brochure was basically ready for the printer and that we would get an update at the next meeting. He also said that only four of the five serviceable NC cars would be renovated after the current order is finished.

Bill Cole reported the North Carolina trains boarded 28 groups in January. He noted days of large ridership such as 150, 146 and 167. There was discussion of marketing of the NC trains.

Martin reminded everyone of the NARP Region V meeting to be held in Nashville, Tenn. at the Union Station Hotel March 30, 31.

Plans for the April meeting were still open.

There was a general discussion of a recent article in the Raleigh News & Observer of a potential Triangle Transit Authority commuter corridor running from Burlington to Selma. It was noted that the TTA Board meetings are held the fourth Monday of each month.

The meeting was adjourned at 3:35 p.m.

Dan Smith