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McLeansvilleAppFan

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I hope the Carolina Association for Passenger Trains will not be offended by my posting this here, but I had not noticed anything posted here and thought it would be of interest. It is on their front webpage so it is not behind a paywall. I will at least plug their webpage and those in the NC and SC area should consider joining if not a member.

Carolinas Association for Passenger Trains
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NC PIEDMONT TRAIN DEVELOPMENTS -–
The long- awaited 5th Charlotte-Raleigh frequency is now slated to begin in the Spring of 2023. This is in light of significant ridership increases lately, with Carolinian and Piedmont train ridership now exceeding pre-pandemic levels. The addition will allow restructuring of train schedules to include an early Piedmont from Charlotte, and a late Piedmont train from Raleigh.
 

GDRRiley

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nice to see. I wonder what the consist will look like as they still don't have their replacement ones.

still odd to me the S line will be upgraded with grade separations but only be 110mph.
 

McLeansvilleAppFan

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Well ever train adds passenger, the five number is a pretty good tipping point for frequently. So should see some real good growth.
I would like a 10-11 pm train that arrived at both end cities around 1-2 AM. I am not sure how early the first trains out will be now but that would get us close to essentially 24 hour service. But yes, with 5 trains each way there will be enough options to help not make people feel stranded to late arriving to a station trains. If the Carolinian is running late the last Piedmont will be an option that is not there right now as much.

A 10 PM train would be late enough to take back home from a neighboring city in the summer for minor league baseball at Charlotte, Kannapolis, High Point, Greensboro, and Durham where the stadia in the cities are downtown and walkable to the Amtrak stations within some reason.

5 trains each way spaced every 3 hours could start at 6 am and the last train at 9 pm. 3 1/2 hour between trains could start at 5:30 AM and have the last run at 11 pm They likely want trains running a bit closer than 3 1/2 hours but that would be my personal preference.

Just happy to see more options. I think we are getting close to critical mass on train count in the Piedmont area to make this exciting.
 

McLeansvilleAppFan

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nice to see. I wonder what the consist will look like as they still don't have their replacement ones.

still odd to me the S line will be upgraded with grade separations but only be 110mph.
I am guessing curves or maybe some residual freight which would keep the rails in less than ideal shape from all the weight of a freight train. I thought that odd as well.
 

GDRRiley

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I am guessing curves or maybe some residual freight which would keep the rails in less than ideal shape from all the weight of a freight train. I thought that odd as well.
they could likely push the superelevation harder assuming theres no freight on the line
5 trains each way spaced every 3 hours could start at 6 am and the last train at 9 pm. 3 1/2 hour between trains could start at 5:30 AM and have the last run at 11 pm They likely want trains running a bit closer than 3 1/2 hours but that would be my personal preference.

Just happy to see more options. I think we are getting close to critical mass on train count in the Piedmont area to make this exciting.
every 3 hours mean you can't turn the same set given the 3:15 running time they could maybe get that slightly lower if they got approval for 90mph
I'd say it will be really exciting when they hit bi hourly
 

Just-Thinking-51

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Just happy to see more options. I think we are getting close to critical mass on train count in the Piedmont area to make this exciting.
Each train brings more riders, but the magical number is 5 round trips. That was California experience, 5 round trips a day and critical mass was achieved.

However timing is also important your request for a late night trip might be a worth goal, but it might take a few more rounds trips to get it.

It will be interesting to see what they do with the timing.
 

McLeansvilleAppFan

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Each train brings more riders, but the magical number is 5 round trips. That was California experience, 5 round trips a day and critical mass was achieved.

However timing is also important your request for a late night trip might be a worth goal, but it might take a few more rounds trips to get it.

It will be interesting to see what they do with the timing.
I assume they are going to have closer timed trips and purchase more train sets and those trips will be a bit earlier and a bit later but not real late like I would like.
 

McLeansvilleAppFan

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they could likely push the superelevation harder assuming theres no freight on the line

every 3 hours mean you can't turn the same set given the 3:15 running time they could maybe get that slightly lower if they got approval for 90mph
I'd say it will be really exciting when they hit bi hourly
I am not sure if we can get to 90MPH without more work on the line from Greensboro to Raleigh. That line needs to be double-tracked and what we have right now from what I know is lots of passing track. Better than nothing but not double track that is in place from Charlotte to Greensboro.

they got funding for 26 coaches and 6 locos be interesting to see when they finally order them
Let's just hope it is not 26 locos and 6 coaches that are ordered. Though that would allow true 24 hour service and have some locos left over to run to Asheville, Wilmington, and Morehead city. :)
Inflation may kick in and 6 locos and a few less coaches might happen. the locos are the more important part it would seem.
 

GDRRiley

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I am not sure if we can get to 90MPH without more work on the line from Greensboro to Raleigh. That line needs to be double-tracked and what we have right now from what I know is lots of passing track. Better than nothing but not double track that is in place from Charlotte to Greensboro.
finishing double track would be good the adjustment between 80 and 90mph is quite small from a track perspective.
Let's just hope it is not 26 locos and 6 coaches that are ordered. Though that would allow true 24 hour service and have some locos left over to run to Asheville, Wilmington, and Morehead city. :)
Inflation may kick in and 6 locos and a few less coaches might happen. the locos are the more important part it would seem.
that was federal funding, the state should look to buy more coaches along with getting something like FLIRTs for the less busy runs.
The existing engines can last another 15 years
 

GDRRiley

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Frequent trains are more important than top speed. Let see what the ridership develops with the 5th round trip. Then we can work on the speed and finish double tracking the line.
yes frequency is more important but with PTC its really not hard to get 90mph running assuming your on class 5 not 4 track.
I'd start both those before the 5th is even done so that when new equipment is ready you can increase the frequency farther, a train every 2 hours is possible with 4 sets in service and 1 spare
 

McLeansvilleAppFan

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A few years ago the curves west of Cary and by the Haw River were straightened. However, the track between Durham and Greensboro still has some curves which would have to be straightened to get to 90 MPH.
jb
Those improvements are easy enough to find, at least in Cary the old rail is still in place I do believe and in Haw River the change in location was not as great but I think the rail is still on the ground as well.

Do we trust high speed around Durham with the Can Opener downtown? Closing that bridge might be the biggest safety improvement on the entire line.
 

McLeansvilleAppFan

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Isn't there a pretty sharp curve between Raleigh and Cary, too?
Just east of Cary station and near the NC State Fairground there are some curves. I am not sure if those curves are so sharp as to need work. And I have no idea how far away slower speeds would be at play to stop at the station regardless of any curves. But yes, it could be straighter in that area.
 

jis

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MODERATOR'S NOTE: About a dozen posts pertaining to SEHSR have been moved from this thread to the SEHSR thread at:


Please continue SEHSR and S-Line between Richmond and Raleigh related discussions in that thread and leave this thread to discuss additional Piedmont frequencies.

Thank you for your understanding, cooperation and participation.
 

McLeansvilleAppFan

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The Raleigh newspaper had an article that was picked up and ran on the front page about the boom in Amtrak ridership in NC. They mentioned the 5th train (4th Piedmont) starting in 2025. A bit later than I have read and made mention at the start of the thread. Hopefully the earlier timeframe is what occurs. The article in the Greensboro News and Record was on Wednesday. I would post the link but it is likely paywalled.
 
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There's a little more to the story. I expected the fifth frequency to wait until the Charlotte gateway station is in service, but that's at least a year away (probably more). The state (NC) received some federal grant money which runs out soon if they don't use it, hence the push to get things running in the spring of 2023.
jb
 

McLeansvilleAppFan

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There's a little more to the story. I expected the fifth frequency to wait until the Charlotte gateway station is in service, but that's at least a year away (probably more). The state (NC) received some federal grant money which runs out soon if they don't use it, hence the push to get things running in the spring of 2023.
jb
And the article mentioned the new Charlotte station being part of the 5th trip. Your thoughts make a lot of sense.
 

JoshP

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Amtrak announced that starting July 10, 2023, NC Piedmont train will add 4th roundtrip by adding new service will provide passengers with a 6:30 a.m. departure from Raleigh and a 5:30 p.m. departure from Charlotte with scheduled trip times of just under three hours. New departures, including a 1 p.m. from Raleigh and 2:20 p.m., 5:30 p.m., and 7:45 p.m. departures from Charlotte.

This is a great news. Now, I am hoping for 5th trip as their goal. Then afterwards, possible discussion about future extension to Wilmington which they want to make it happen. Atlanta is one also on their list.
 
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