Carolinas Association for Passenger Trains
Board Meeting
Raleigh Union Station, Raleigh, NC
May 18, 2019 Open - 12:55

Present: Martin Wheeler, Jim Frierson, Gene Kirkland, Bob Bischoff, Ralph Messera, David Robinson, Bill Cole, Don Stewart, and Phil Astwood

Secretary's Report: Phil Astwood read the minutes of the March meeting. They were approved with minor corrections.

Treasurer's Report: Gene Kirkland distributed copies of the treasurer’s report for January 19, 2019 – May 17, 2019. The report showed an opening balance of $696.09, credits of $330.00, expenses for printing and postage of $134.45 giving a closing balance of $891.64. There were 10 renewals and 1 new member giving the association a total of 188 members. Gene is continuing to send renewal letters.

Update on Resolution Drive in SC in Support of Expanded Rail Passenger Service: Phil briefly described current plans to send copies of the SC brochure, the schedule inserts and the resolution to members of the SC House Education and Public Works Committee, the SC Senate Transportation Committee and the governor. David Robinson agreed to edit the cover letter that will accompany the packet. Phil will send out the packets as soon as the letter is approved by the Board. Martin Wheeler found some incorrect or out-of-date items on the Greenville-Myrtle Beach schedule and checked the price to have it reprinted. There will be an $80 consulting fee and a cost of $320 to revise the map. A printing price was not yet available.

Update on NC On Track: As promised in an earlier meeting, David has created an e-mail roster of organizations potentially affected by improved rail service in NC. Each organization on the roster is notified when a new newsletter is available on the website. These newsletters are designed for people who are not familiar with rail service. He is also planning to create a series of 15-minute podcasts accessible from the website that describe various aspects of rail service in North and South Carolina. Martin suggested that some of the information from the NC on Track website could be added to the CAPT site.

Update on News in NC and SC Affecting Transit and Passenger Rail: Don Yehle (unable to attend today’s meeting) attended the RPA rail advocacy day on the ‘Hill’, met with 9 SC congressional delegation staff members and presented all of our material. Martin said there is a proposal to extend the Blue Line south through Pineville to Ballantyne. There will be a report on the feasibility of the plan in a few months. The Charlotte Gateway Station should be ready for use in July 2023. The station will be built via a public/private partnership which should be finalized by November. The Greyhound station will move to a new modular facility in June. The infrastructure for the station (rails, tunnels, platforms, etc) should be done in March of 2022. There was considerable discussion about the possibility of a train between Charlotte and Fayetteville which would be achieved by extending one or more of the Piedmonts beyond Raleigh. Stations at Weldon, Hillsboro and Lexington are still being considered. Some are closer to realization than others, but NS may not allow any to be built. A station at Harrisburg is also being considered, but unlike the others it is an NCRR project not an NCDOT project. There are current discussions between NCDOT and Amtrak about changes in the Carolinian’s schedule which would allow for slightly later departures both north-bound and south-bound. This might lead to adjustments in some of the Piedmont schedules as well. Duke University Medical School did not sign onto the agreement for Triangle Transit to build a light rail line close to its campus because it was afraid that vibrations would damage some of its equipment. The Pembroke area has asked Amtrak to consider Pembroke as a stop for the Palmetto.

Update on CAPT Newsletter and Website Issues: No reports

Amtrak Update: The Hoosier State between Indianapolis and Chicago is to be discontinued at the end of June leaving only the three-times-a-week Cardinal serving the area. This might have an effect on the movement of equipment in and out of the Beech Grove shops.

Planning for Future Meetings
July 20 – Columbia
September 21 – Charlotte
November 16 - Landrum (Perhaps Fayetteville)

Adjourn 2:35