| Carolinas Association for Passenger Trains
|Wrenn House Restaurant, Salisbury, N.C.
| || ||
|April 18, 2009
||Open - 12:30 PM
& Phil Astwood.
- Bob will make corrections to the brochure and request that 1,000 copies be printed
- Jim will send Bob a list of approximately 300 cities, towns, councils of government, and
chambers of commerce located within 10 miles of major rail lines in SC.
- Martin will write and Jim will review a cover letter to accompany the Resolution and
- Martin will ask Gene to send out renewal notices
- Don will continue work on the new CAPT brochure
- Jim will set up an October 10 meeting in Charleston
William Deal (Executive Director of the Davidson
County Foundation and Member of the Lexington Passenger Rail Advisory
Committee) spoke about his group's efforts to reinstate a passenger rail
service to the City of Lexington, NC. Service was initiated in
in 1855 and ended in 1976. Since 1976, Lexington
has been "Waiting for the train". In 2000 the City Council voted to support the
SEHSR (Southeast High Speed Rail) Corridor. In 2004 the Council sought a plan
to improve transportation that would increase use of the freight depot and add
passenger service. The City currently owns an old furniture plant and 18 acres
adjacent to downtown which might be useful. An Amtrak study of potential
ridership in Davidson County
predicted 10,600 riders annually at Lexington,
and despite the fact that many of these would be drawn from adjacent stations,
the idea is still being promoted. Obtaining a lease for the freight depot from NS
and NCRR is proving much more complex than expected.
NCDOT has agreed to do the engineering and
move the idea forward if local government will develop a landscape plan. Thus
far, the only passenger service at Lexington
is for the barbecue festival in October. The timing of requests to extend this
service is most important so as to build on the current focus on energy
conservation and to take advantage of economic stimulus plans. Part of the strategy
is to partner with Hillsboro to
place stations in the "Gaps" between Charlotte and Raleigh. If a station
spacing of approximately 25 miles is ideal, then a station in
and another in Hillsboro will fill the
two largest gaps. A plan such as this is more apt to be successful if it is
"regional" and it is thus important to involve David Price and Mel Watt who are
two significant congressmen from this area.
Price has expressed an interest in rail service and was involved with
the start up of the first Carolinian. Watts, though
initially less interested, added this to a "wish list" of significant projects.
Deal plans to set up meetings with NC Senators Burr and Hagen as soon as
possible since regional projects better fit the agendas of senators than those
of congressmen. Davidson and Orange
are the only counties in the Charlotte/Raleigh rail corridor that do not
currently have passenger service. Though it has been underway for five years,
Deal believes that this may be the best time for this $9.5 million project ($6
million to build a station similar to the one in Kannapolis on the footprint of
the original station, $1 million for a center platform which NCDOT recommends
in order to help handle traffic on nearby single tracked section, and $2.5
million for tunnel and signal modifications without which a stop at Lexington
would significantly slow running time due to reduced speed required to approach
current signal location). In order to qualify for 80-10-10 funding, the land
currently owned by NCRR will have be leased to NCDOT.
The current plan is to initiate Lexington
service in 2011 when 4th Charlotte/Raleigh frequency is expected.
Deal pointed out that stops in Lexington
and Hillsboro will certainly slow
the train's running time, but he believed that frequency is more important than
speed and increasing the number or trains and the access to those trains will
be most beneficial for the Charlotte/Raleigh corridor. In closing, Deal
described the Barbeque Festival and the special features available to those who
attend by train.
Update on Resolution in Support of Transportation Options for the State of
- Bob Bischoff distributed copies of the new
South Carolina brochure showing current and potential
passenger rail lines in South Carolina.
The brochure will accompany the Resolution. Some typos were noted and it was
suggested that a publication date be added to the brochure. Page 3 will be
fixed so spacing at the bottom is correct. Bob agreed to make the corrections
and have the brochure out in about a week. It will cost about $1,000 to make a
master disc and print 1,000 copies. The printers agreed to print smaller
quantities in the future as changes are made. It was suggested that portions of
the brochure could be extracted for a recruiting folder and larger portions
could be used in the new CAPT brochure being designed by Don Stewart. Jim Frierson
has compiled a list of all South Carolina
cities, towns, and councils of government within 10 miles of a rail line. He
agreed to include chambers of commerce and have the list ready within a week.
It will include approximately 300 addresses. Martin Wheeler will work on a
draft of the cover letter and send it to Jim. The letters will be individually
addressed and printed on CAPT stationary if it is available.
Status of Efforts to Produce new CAPT Brochure -
Don Stewart met with a printing firm about price. They might also do a feature
story about CAPT.
Secretary's Report -
Phil Astwood distributed the
minutes to Board members via e-mail and in printed form at the meeting. Several
corrections were noted and the minutes were accepted as corrected.
Treasurer's Report -
As Gene Kirkland could not
attend he mailed copies of the treasurer's report in advance. The Association
has $7,817.06 is its operating account and $6,535.00 in the CAPT Challenge
account for a total of $14,352.06. The majority of this money is in a Wachovia
money market account drawing very little interest. Gene will report on the
selection of a new bank account at the next meeting. The association has 187
members. Martin will ask Gene send notices when it is time for members to
Update on CAPT Newsletter and Website -
Malcolm Kenton could not
attend this meeting, but sent word that he has sent out a draft of the next
newsletter. He is currently waiting for information from Gene. The next
newsletter should be out soon.
John Bobinyec said that we have the domain name CAPTrail.org at godaddy.com.
This is John's server which will pick up files from Trainweb and present them
without advertising. When server is out of service the site will temporarily go
back to Trainweb. He will delay 30 days before putting the current newsletter
on the site.
Update on Rail Developments across the Carolinas
including Start of 3rd Charlotte/Raleigh Frequency
- Martin Wheeler reported
that in the last meeting we were told that start up of the 3rd
frequency would be delayed until October of this year or later. A 5th
frequency might start by 2015. NCDOT plans to double track the whole route and
part of the current delay results from present double tracking projects. It
will not be necessary to buy any new equipment, but refurbishing must be
completed. (It is interesting that the slowdown in the auto industry is
affecting the refurbishing process because there is a decreased need for auto
glass and thus the production of all glass including that needed for passenger
cars has slowed). Work is underway on the platforms at the
station and all work should be done by the end of the year. Platform work is
Salisbury as well. Work
at Rocky Mount and Selma
is complete. No changes are currently planned for Raleigh.
The DMV has moved out of the Cary
station, but no work has begun. There will be no progress in Charlotte
until the bus station moves from the site of the future multi-modal center.
to Mooresville service is 80% designed using existing NS line. Plan is to run 60
MPH without signals with hourly headways using a staging area south of I-277 to
'y' the trains. No decision yet on equipment. There is currently no money to
complete the project, but perhaps Stimulus money will help. The NE light rail
extension is 15% designed and is expected to cost $90 million to build an
additional 15 miles. A north route is apt to be selected first. The streetcar project
has installed some rail in connection with other road work, but a completion date
for the project unknown. Track work south of Greensboro
should be complete in May or June.
Amtrak Update -
Amtrak is scheduled to receive $1.2
billion for the next fiscal year. It is expected that a large portion of this
will be used to complete deferred maintenance projects and will not result in
any significant new service. However, there are plans to extend existing
regional service from NYC to Lynchburg
by October or early next year. The hope is that this service can eventually be
extended to Roanoke. There are also
plans for an additional frequency to Richmond.
In SC no stimulus money will be spent on rail travel. All will go to roads and
transit. There have been many studies in SC, but planning is not far enough
along to begin any project now. NC is best
prepared for a high speed project. If work begins there it should stimulate
planning and work in SC and GA. Establishing service to Asheville
will cost about $140 mil. Many stations have been completed, but there is
currently no money available to complete the project. To find out more we will
meet in Asheville in June and ask
Judy Ray to speak about the project.
Officers & Directors Reports
Bob Bischoff- CATS
is considering discontinuing the current weekend only trolley service and run
it as a charter service. It is clear that the demand for the service is
seasonal and perhaps it should only operate in the summer. CATS is being asked
to continue through the coming summer to see if demand increases. The current
economic conditions probably are affecting demand as well.
Ed Locklin -
Recent observation has shown the Crescent's on-time performance to be very
Ralph Ward - Why
is NS replacing 85# rail with 100# welded rail from Highpoint to
Joe Bundy - It is
actually 130# rail and it is needed to carry chemical cars.
Future Meetings -
The next meeting will be June 13 in Asheville.
Following meetings: August 8 in Raleigh.
Jim will set up an October 10 meeting in Charleston,
and December 12 at a location to be determined.
|Adjourn - 3:25