Study Continues On High Speed Rail In Raleigh and NC

Discussion about a high speed rail line from Washington DC, through Raleigh, to Charlotte has been mentioned before and we now have an update in the study process. With regards to Raleigh, David Foster, a project manager on the project, states:

The environmental work is substantially complete between the VA-NC line and Raleigh. The initial railroad horizontal and vertical alignment alternatives also are complete along this section. Roadway designs are essentially complete from the VA-NC line through Franklin County, and are in progress through Wake County. The Franklin/Wake County sections are some of the most complex due to heavy development.

Section 106 consultation with the State Historic Preservation Offices in both Virginia and North Carolina is still required. Efforts to obtain the necessary effects determinations for the individual historic resources in each state will begin as the design work is finalized.

The website for the project has a plethora of information, including the entire planned corridor shown with aerial pictures.

Looking at the downtown section we can see what is planned. Before looking, it is pretty easy to guess that the plans are to use the existing rail corridor that runs along capital BLVD into downtown. This makes most sense because of the planned multimodal transit center to be built in the warehouse district. The project timeline was updated last month with an estimate to have passenger service running some time between 2015 and 2020. This is all “dependent upon funding availability” but the gears are rolling and Raleigh may be a major hub for the east coast high speed rail line in the coming decade.

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  1. It’s awesome to see this planning happening and that things seem to be progressing at some rate. I think my issue is that I have absolutely no patience for progress. 2015? 2020? Will I even care anymore at this point.

    Sorry for the sidetrack. Just an observation that the really good stuff is always way far out.

  2. Always good to see some planning ahead. Much better than not considering high-speed rail at all. Of course, I don’t want to see this effort becoming another money pit.

  3. Kitch: completly agree! our tax dollars are spent with extensive studies associated with transit and nothing ever get’s started or completed in a timely manner (especially in our state of North Carolina – delay after delay – our leaders seem to be uneducated reactive people). These target dates are pathetic, they have been studying this route for years, stop wasting our dollars and break ground yesterday – have you heard there is a energy crisis going on TODAY! (next excuse: construction costs are too high and will delay this project out to 2040, as you said, by that time, who cares)

  4. Fellas, the planning is required by law. They have to follow a process and do the environmental and design work before they can turn the shovels. Also keep in mind this is a 300+ mile long project from Charlotte to Richmond, so not such an easy task.

    If it’s funded and implemented, I will wager that High Speed Rail will be extremely successful. Raleigh to Charlotte in 2 hours, and Raleigh to DC in 3 hours. By the time HSR can operate (2015?) gas will be so expensive ($5-6+), both auto and air travel will be priced out for most travelers. Rail will be the most competitive travel option, both financially and time-wise.

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