Carolinas Association for Passenger Trains
Annual Membership Meeting
Braggtown Baptist Church, Durham, NC
November 17, 2018 Open: 2:08 P.M.

Present: Martin Wheeler, Jim Frierson, Ernest, Robl, John Bobinyec, Gene Kirkland, Dan Smith, Ed Locklin, David Robinson, Jonathan Stewart and Phil Astwood

Secretary's Report: Phil Astwood read the minutes from the September meeting. They were accepted as read

Treasurer's Report: 1–Budget for 2019 – Gene Kirkland presented a preliminary budget for the coming year. Based on a membership of 187, the budget proposes an income from dues and contributions of $3,011.50 and expenses primarily for printing and mailing of $2,080.00. 2-Financial Report for Sept 29-Nov 15, 2018 – Gene also presented a financial report showing income for this period of $100 from dues and expenses of $231.74 for printing postage and renewal of the Go Daddy URL.

  Board of Directors: Seven members of the Board were elected last year to 2-year terms. They are:
 Ralph MesseraJohn Bobinyec
 Bill ColeMartin Wheeler
 Jim FriersonGene Kirkland
 Phil Astwood 
  Note: Art Peterson was also elected as a member of the Board and NC Vice President, but he has been unable to attend Board meetings this year. David Robinson will contact him to find out if he wishes to remain on the Board.

Four were elected to 2-year terms beginning at the January 2019 meeting. They are:

 Bob BischoffEd Locklin
 Leon DeBaerDavid Robinson
  Officers: The following were elected to 1-year terms:
 Martin Wheeler- President
 Phil Astwood- Secretary
 Gene Kirkland- Treasurer
 Jim Frierson- SC Vice President
 David Robinson- NC Vice President
Update on the Resolution Drive in SC in Support of Expanded Rail Passenger Service: Phil had prepared a cover letter to accompany a copy of the SC brochure, copies of the schedule inserts and a copy of the resolution when these items are sent to members of the two committees in the SC House and Senate that deal with transportation issues. Phil read the letter to the Board which suggested that the letter ask for some specific action from the committees. Jim Frierson agreed to reword the last paragraph to include such a suggestion. The hope was to have everything complete for a mailing in December. The Board suggested that a copy of these materials be sent to the Governor.

Update on CAPT Fostering Creation of an Association Similar to Virginians for High Speed Rail: For a previous meeting David Robinson prepared a set of “Goals and Objectives” for this project. In connection with that he plans to contact the head of the NC Public Transportation Committee before taking any other action. For comparison he distributed copies of Goals and Objectives that had been prepared for similar organizations and suggested that funds to support such an effort could be solicited through “Crowd Funding”. He described this system and provided examples of other places where it had been successfully used. Advertising for the Crowd Funding appeal would also serve to publicize the project.

Update on News in NC and SC Affecting Transit and Rail Passenger Service: Gene Kirkland – Ridership has been good on all Piedmonts. Bus pass is working well also. To equip a 4th Piedmont it will be necessary to refurbish 7‘circus’ cars and 2 existing cars. Having an operating power unit at each end of the Piedmont trains has proved useful a number of times when one of the engines failed. The second track at Raleigh is now connected and is in use. Jim Frierson – The new Intermodal Center in Charleston is supposed to have been completed in October. The old station and platform will be demolished. No further information on the Assembly Street project in Columbia. David Robinson – Western NC Rail has incorporated as a non-profit. Bus service following the proposed rail line from Asheville to Salisbury may begin in 2020 connecting to existing rail at Wilson. (Recording volume too low to hear a portion of this)

Update on CAPT Newsletter and Website Issues: Gene Kirkland – Material for the newsletter is desperately needed. John Bobinyec – Addresses and phone numbers listed on the website for officers and directors are seriously out of date.

Amtrak Update: The ‘Chief’ will continue to run for at least the next year. PTC has caused trouble in a number of areas. Apparently a ‘drop out’ in PTC caused a derailment in Florida when it put a freight train into emergency. PTC problems have also caused a number of delays on the ‘Crescent’.

Reports by Officers and Directors: Ed Locklin – CSX plans to sell the track between Mobile and Jacksonville to Rail USA. John Bobinyec – NS is moving its headquarters and all of its dispatchers including those in Greenville to Atlanta. Jim Frierson – The Spectrum ads showing people walking on a railroad track are still on the air in Columbia and a number of other cities. Martin Wheeler – Light rail ridership is up but below what was expected. This is due in part to unreasonably low speed restrictions and operating problems not being fixed, The route for service from St Matthews to central city and on to the airport has been finalized. Land is being cleared for tracks for the Gateway station and a number of possible Mooresville/Lake Norman routes are being examined. A new ‘Y’ is being built near the airport which should facilitate train movement in a number of directions. There have been discussions about extending one or more Piedmonts to Selma, Goldsboro, or even Gastonia. The problem is the increase in crew costs.

Planning for Future Meetings:
 January 19 – Greensboro
 March 16 – Charleston
 May 18 – Raleigh
 July 20 – Columbia
 September 21 – Charlotte
 November 16 – Landrum
Adjourn - 4:55