New Piedmont Roundtrip

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Seaboard92

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Fresh off the presses the new Trains No. 77 and 78 have officially been added into Arrow because I've successfully made a reservation on them.

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brianpmcdonnell17

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The new schedule takes effect on Monday, June 4th. Some of the existing trains have been rescheduled as well. Before the change, the departures from Charlotte are 7:00 AM, 12:00 PM, and 5:15 PM, while they will become 6:45 AM, 10:30 AM, 3:15 PM, and 7:00 PM. From Raleigh, the current departures are 6:45 AM, 11:45 AM, and 5:16 PM, while they will soon become 6:30 AM, 10:00 AM, 3:00 PM, and 5:16 PM. Connections from 92 at Cary have been reduced from 3:50 to 2:04, but connections to 91 have extended from 1:05 to 3:17.
 
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Palmland

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Great news. Now it will be easy to drive from SC to catch the 10:30 train, check out the new Raleigh station, then to Greensboro or Durham for a baseball game and home the next morning. NC DOT has their act together. Of course it helps they have a funding source. Wish every state had a NC RR.
 

xyzzy

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Note that 75 will depart RGH 1000 while 80 will arrive RGH 1002. Also, the earlier time for 80 increases the chance of a clash with a late-running 92. Fortunately the new Raleigh station has a double platform, unlike the current station.

The new schedule does reduce the likelihood of clash at RGH between 76 and 91, a common occurrence now.
 

AGM.12

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Concerning rolling stock, have they already rebuilt those circus cars they bought? I wonder if they acquired the excursion fleet of cars from NS?
 

brianpmcdonnell17

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The new schedule does reduce the likelihood of clash at RGH between 76 and 91, a common occurrence now.
The new 78 could meet 91, however, if it is running late. From what I understand, the second track accessibility in Raleigh is one of the projects that made this new round-trip possible.
 

Seaboard92

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The circus cars to my understanding are still out of service in Nash County. Looking at this schedule I see two trainsets needed.
 

Seaboard92

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@Seaboard92: Yep, I see that as well.73 turns as 74, which turns as 77, which then turns as 78.
I think eventually the plan is to add another round trip in there somewhere. They now have the equipment if they wanted to run to Asheville they could.
Keep in mind the S line has been downgraded and would need major work to do so now. But they have the equipment
 

west point

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@Seaboard92: Yep, I see that as well.73 turns as 74, which turns as 77, which then turns as 78.
Do not assume two sets of equipment is enough. Only two sets would have the same set overnighting in RGH or CLT every night. NCRR cannot do preventative maintenance that way. It take a third set to allow for proper PM !
 
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The new schedule takes effect on Monday, June 4th. Some of the existing trains have been rescheduled as well. Before the change, the departures from Charlotte are 7:00 AM, 12:00 PM, and 5:15 PM, while they will become 6:45 AM, 10:30 AM, 3:15 PM, and 7:00 PM. From Raleigh, the current departures are 6:45 AM, 11:45 AM, and 5:16 PM, while they will soon become 6:30 AM, 10:00 AM, 3:00 PM, and 5:16 PM. Connections from 92 at Cary have been reduced from 3:50 to 2:04, but connections to 91 have extended from 1:05 to 3:17.
I don't know whether Raleigh or Cary is nicer but the layover in Raleigh from 76 to 91 would be 6:26pm to 9:01pm. It went from maybe cutting it close to a little too long. From a corridor train to a LD, I would think an ideal layover would be 2 hours. On the other hand, if the SS were late coming from the NEC, maybe the old 76 schedule was fine and the new would make for a really long wait in Cary or Raleigh if you get there at 6:26pm and the Star doesn't get to North Carolina until 10 or 11pm.

On the other hand, you would have a shorter wait time in Raleigh/Cary IF the Star is on time (Cary 8:08am to 10:12am, Raleigh 8:45am to 10:00am). Even if it's late and you miss the 76, the next train (78) is now a 3pm/3:12pm (a few hours better).
 

xyzzy

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Although I haven't personally seen the interior of the new Raleigh station, its photos appear to be more attractive, accommodating, and spacious than the Cary station -- which is functional but not grand. The new Raleigh station will have more restaurants and bars within walking distance.

On the other hand, for locals the Cary station has plenty of free parking within 150 feet of the station. Parking for the new Raleigh station isn't free and is a longer walk. I live in the outskirts of Raleigh. If I am traveling to Greensboro or points south, I'll use the Cary station. If I am traveling to Virginia or points north, I'll continue to drive to Rocky Mount and park there (free).
 
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me_little_me

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@Seaboard92: Yep, I see that as well.73 turns as 74, which turns as 77, which then turns as 78.
I think eventually the plan is to add another round trip in there somewhere. They now have the equipment if they wanted to run to Asheville they could.
Keep in mind the S line has been downgraded and would need major work to do so now. But they have the equipment
Per one of NCDOT's reps, they are planning Ambus to Asheville.
 

xyzzy

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About 15 years ago, NS wanted $150 million of capital improvements to handle passenger trains Asheville-Salisbury. At the time, max timetable speed on the line was 45 mph. Now it's 25 mph. Wouldn't surprise me if NS wants $300 million today. Meanwhile NS management has become less accommodating to passenger trains. I don't see Asheville happening unless NS sells the line. And even if NS does, there is still a political debate about Asheville vs Wilmington. Remember, although railfans might love the loops and tunnels to reach Asheville, a passenger train will always move through those slowly. On the other hand, a passenger train could run at 79 virtually all the way into Wilmington on straight and level track.
 

John Bobinyec

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About 15 years ago, NS wanted $150 million of capital improvements to handle passenger trains Asheville-Salisbury. At the time, max timetable speed on the line was 45 mph. Now it's 25 mph. Wouldn't surprise me if NS wants $300 million today. Meanwhile NS management has become less accommodating to passenger trains. I don't see Asheville happening unless NS sells the line. And even if NS does, there is still a political debate about Asheville vs Wilmington. Remember, although railfans might love the loops and tunnels to reach Asheville, a passenger train will always move through those slowly. On the other hand, a passenger train could run at 79 virtually all the way into Wilmington on straight and level track.
A couple of years ago I took an excursion from Spencer to Asheville and returned. We had regular Amtrak engines. The train coming down the mountain was restricted to 15 mph. And since the dynamic brakes don't work all that well at such a slow speed, regular airbrakes were used. Before we got to the bottom the brakes got so hot that we had to stop and let them cool off. So if regular trains are ever to make this run, something has to be done about either raising the speed coming down the mountain or getting better dynamic brakes.

jb
 

me_little_me

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About 15 years ago, NS wanted $150 million of capital improvements to handle passenger trains Asheville-Salisbury. At the time, max timetable speed on the line was 45 mph. Now it's 25 mph. Wouldn't surprise me if NS wants $300 million today. Meanwhile NS management has become less accommodating to passenger trains. I don't see Asheville happening unless NS sells the line. And even if NS does, there is still a political debate about Asheville vs Wilmington. Remember, although railfans might love the loops and tunnels to reach Asheville, a passenger train will always move through those slowly. On the other hand, a passenger train could run at 79 virtually all the way into Wilmington on straight and level track.
A couple of years ago I took an excursion from Spencer to Asheville and returned. We had regular Amtrak engines. The train coming down the mountain was restricted to 15 mph. And since the dynamic brakes don't work all that well at such a slow speed, regular airbrakes were used. Before we got to the bottom the brakes got so hot that we had to stop and let them cool off. So if regular trains are ever to make this run, something has to be done about either raising the speed coming down the mountain or getting better dynamic brakes.

jb
They can always create a theme-park type thrill ride by refurbishing Saluda Grade and using it for passenger service.
 

Seaboard92

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About 15 years ago, NS wanted $150 million of capital improvements to handle passenger trains Asheville-Salisbury. At the time, max timetable speed on the line was 45 mph. Now it's 25 mph. Wouldn't surprise me if NS wants $300 million today. Meanwhile NS management has become less accommodating to passenger trains. I don't see Asheville happening unless NS sells the line. And even if NS does, there is still a political debate about Asheville vs Wilmington. Remember, although railfans might love the loops and tunnels to reach Asheville, a passenger train will always move through those slowly. On the other hand, a passenger train could run at 79 virtually all the way into Wilmington on straight and level track.
A couple of years ago I took an excursion from Spencer to Asheville and returned. We had regular Amtrak engines. The train coming down the mountain was restricted to 15 mph. And since the dynamic brakes don't work all that well at such a slow speed, regular airbrakes were used. Before we got to the bottom the brakes got so hot that we had to stop and let them cool off. So if regular trains are ever to make this run, something has to be done about either raising the speed coming down the mountain or getting better dynamic brakes.

jb
Well the train you were on was about twenty five cars if I remember those consists right. I've worked several of those so they all blend together. On one of those Asheville trips a volunteer tied the hand brakes down to help while we set the retainers. We proceeded to go down the mountain and did a real number on that car.

We had to stay standing for fifteen to twenty minutes to let it cool down. And we had a flat spot in the wheel after that.

A short train shouldn't have nearly as much trouble.
 

John Bobinyec

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Big congrats on the new train service, but why is NC buying a hodge podge of equipment?
They're not buying a hodge podge of equipment. They buy old, worn out equipment of the same general configuration and then have it gutted and rebuilt. They find it's cheaper than buying new.

jb
 

xyzzy

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I've read there are only 75 parking spaces in that deck set aside for Amtrak. Will be interesting to see whether it fills up.
 

me_little_me

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Here's another article with more detail.

Here's NCDOT info on the station.

Notice that there is no free parking at the new station. At the station is limited short-term parking for $1.25 per hour, with a maximum of two hours. Long-term parking is in a parking deck across the street for $2 per hour with a maximum of $18 per day.

jb
I use and will continue to use Cary station where parking is free when I drive over to the east of the state to go to the NorthEast.
 
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