Carolinas Association for Passenger Trains
Board Meeting
Richland County Library, Columbia SC
December 14, 2013 Open - 1:15 P.M.
Present: Martin Wheeler, Jim Frierson, Ed Locklin & Phil Astwood.

Secretary's Report - In Phil Astwood’s absence, minutes of the October meeting were taken by Bob Bischoff. These were accepted as mailed with a couple of minor corrections.

Financial Report - Gene Kirkland had an illness in the family and did not attend. As he had not mailed a report, discussion of financial matters was postponed to the next meeting.

Legislative News -
(NC) The State has come to an agreement with Amtrak, as have all other states with state-supported service, to cover the additional funds for the Carolinian and Piedmonts through October 2014 However, some funding came from one-time money that may not be available next year. If there is a shortage, it seems likely the Carolinian would be cut. Since it runs less than 750 miles (the cut-off point) and NC pays the whole cost of the train as far as DC, cutting it would save the most money.

(SC) The station at Clemson will close temporarily while the adjacent single-track bridge is being replaced with a double-track span. There is some concern about the comfort and safety of passengers during construction. The Central Midlands COG still has a high-speed rail committee whose chair is Derek Huggins. At a recent meeting they discussed the Atlanta-Charlotte high-speed corridor and talked about forming a high-speed rail vision for SC. No progress has been made on the possible Charlotte-Columbia connection. Randy Brown at FRA is the contact for the southeast high-speed rail corridor. He has been moved from DC to Raleigh to put him closer to SEHSR. Perhaps he will speak to our Raleigh meeting.

Resolution Drive - Phil said he had sent out all of the packets for which he had all of the components. (SC brochure, Charlotte-Charleston insert, Greenville-Myrtle Beach insert, resolution, and a cover letter) They were mailed to 46 county council chairs and about 30 mayors. He needs 110 more Myrtle Beach inserts to complete the mailing

Update on CAPT Newsletter and Website Issues - Website – The site was down briefly when the Go Daddy contract expired, but is back up now. John is still working on arrangements to permit payment of dues through PayPal. Newsletter – A writer in Greensboro offered to write stories, but this is not really what we need. Perhaps we should have a single-page newsletter with meeting notice on one side and news on the other. Many organizations send out e-mail only newsletters.

NC Transit - Martin – A major Blue Line extension project is the grade separation at Sugar Creek. He handed out a fact sheet on the Blue Line extension project. Construction is to begin in January 2014. Delivery of 22 new vehicles to begin in November of 2014. Start of revenue service will be the spring of 2017. Some work has already begun. Extending older platforms to accommodate 3 cars to begin next year. The Gold Line (street car) is supposed to start operation in 2015. $63,000,000 has been “found” to use as local match on the street car project. They plan to get 3 vintage type street cars to start service and then buy 6 modern cars. The multimodal freight yard at the airport is nearly complete and served its first train this week. It is expected to be fully operational by next summer. In Raleigh the Union Station project is underway and expected to be complete by 2017. There has been an estimate that when the Charlotte and Raleigh stations are complete there will be a 20% increase in passenger traffic.

Reports by Officers and Directors -
  • Ed Locklin - Got a Christmas card from Ralph Ward. His address has changed, but it is good to know he is recovering.
  • Jim Frierson - Earl Eargle working with NARP to sell his CD.
Future Meetings - Feb 8 - Wilmington, April 12 – Greensbor14, June 8 – Rock Hill, August 9 – Raleigh, October 11 – Charlotte, December 14– Charleston
Adjourn - 2:55 PM