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SEHSR and the future of Amtrak’s Carolinian

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Amtrak_Carolinian_2020

Train Attendant
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Jan 14, 2020
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21
When the CSX S Line tracks allow high speed rail between Raleigh, NC and Richmond, VA along the I-85 Corridor as part of the future SEHSR Line, what will that mean for the future of Amtrak’s Carolinian? I heard that the Carolinian could be rerouted onto the S Line for a much quicker trip between Raleigh and Richmond, potentially running more than one trip between Charlotte and New York daily. This could connect the North Carolina metro areas with the bigger cities of the Mid Atlantic and the Northeast much more quickly. However, that would mean that the Carolinian would lose its stops in Selma, Wilson, and Rocky Mount, meaning Eastern NC would lose its train connection to the Piedmont region. It would be interesting to see an extended Piedmont frequency run a round trip between Charlotte and Rocky Mount. I wonder if Amtrak would ever consider adding local stops to the Carolinian on the NEC such as New Carrollton, BWI Airport, and Metropark, like they did with the Palmetto a few years back. Also, if the Carolinian does not get rerouted and continues to serve its current route, I would like to see a schedule change to the Eastern NC Thruway Motor Coach Service, by running the buses to arrive Wilson earlier and depart Wilson later, allowing for connections to and from the Carolinian’s northern destinations. I think some people would prefer an 8:30 arrival into New York versus a midnight arrival. What do y’all think?
 
Joined
Sep 22, 2019
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The full SESHR plan calls for five round trips a day using the S-Line: four SESHR corridor round trips plus the Silver Star. However, there would still be one additional round trip a day using the Carolinian's existing route on the A-Line.

So the full service would be like this:

- 4 round trips a day between Raleigh and Charlotte only (Piedmont)
- 4 round trips a day between NYC/Washington D.C. and Raleigh using the S-Line (SESHR Corridor service). 3 of those round trips would continue to Charlotte, but one would terminate in Raleigh (to ensure more favorable operating hours up north and avoid arriving/leaving Charlotte late at night).
-1 round trip a day between NYC/Washington D.C., Raleigh and Charlotte using the existing Carolinian route (Carolinian)
-The Silver Star, using the S-Line.

Here is the Richmond to Raleigh Tier II Final EIS, where you can find the info on page ES-7/page 20 of the PDF.

Chapter 2 of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the DC2RVA portion of the corridor also has nice maps showing the full proposed service in Virginia.

SEHSR Proposed Corridor Map.png SEHSR Proposed Rail Corridor Map.png Screen Shot 2020-01-14 at 9.53.24 PM.png
 
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Amtrak_Carolinian_2020

Train Attendant
Joined
Jan 14, 2020
Messages
21
View attachment 16461 View attachment 16462 View attachment 16463 The full SESHR plan calls for five round trips a day using the S-Line: four SESHR corridor round trips plus the Silver Star. However, there would still be one additional round trip a day using the Carolinian's existing route on the A-Line.

So the full service would be like this:

- 4 round trips a day between Raleigh and Charlotte only (Piedmont)
- 4 round trips a day between NYC/Washington D.C. and Raleigh using the S-Line (SESHR Corridor service). 3 of those round trips would continue to Charlotte, but one would terminate in Raleigh (to ensure more favorable operating hours up north and avoid arriving/leaving Charlotte late at night).
-1 round trip a day between NYC/Washington D.C., Raleigh and Charlotte using the existing Carolinian route (Carolinian)
-The Silver Star, using the S-Line.

Here is the Richmond to Raleigh Tier II Final EIS, where you can find the info on page ES-7/page 20 of the PDF.

Chapter 2 of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the DC2RVA portion of the corridor also has a nice map showing the full proposed service in Virginia.

View attachment 16462
View attachment 16461
Oh, wow! Thanks for the info!
 

west point

Conductor
Joined
Jun 9, 2015
Messages
2,210
One correction. The "S" line will only be HrSR ( HrSR <126 MPH ). NC will determine what times Carolinian will leave CLT and its route. The problems with serving Selma, Wilson, Rocky Mount are many especially for service north bound. maybe thru way bus(s) to Norlina ? A present tally of traffic to the north from those stations to the north would enlighten ?

One possibility would be for the Carolinian to leave CLT as scheduled and follow present route as published above. Then initiate a day departure from Atlanta at about 0700, CLT noonish, RGH 1500, RVR 1730, WASH 2000, NYP 2330. That would fill in one of the proposed trains from CLT - RGH - RVR - WASH - NYP. Southbound ??? as ATL train time would be too close to Carolinian unless it leaves 2 -3 hours later from NYP !

This all moot until "S" line is rebuilt and Amtrak gets a lot more single level equipment.
 

sttom

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 23, 2019
Messages
498
Just looking at the maps, having the Piedmont cover stops that could be dropped would make sense. So would trains to Morehead City, Fayetteville and Wilmington. North Carolina has a lot of room for growth. But on topic, if the Carolinian can be rerouted with a shorter trip and a second trip per day, it should be done so long as the stops losing service get something to replace it.
 

Amtrak_Carolinian_2020

Train Attendant
Joined
Jan 14, 2020
Messages
21
Just looking at the maps, having the Piedmont cover stops that could be dropped would make sense. So would trains to Morehead City, Fayetteville and Wilmington. North Carolina has a lot of room for growth. But on topic, if the Carolinian can be rerouted with a shorter trip and a second trip per day, it should be done so long as the stops losing service get something to replace it.
Rerouting the Carolinian on a shorter trip is what I thought they were gonna do, running on the NS Line from Charlotte to Raleigh, cutting Northeast on the CSX S Line from Raleigh to Petersburg, then continue the route on the CSX A Line/RF&P and Amtrak NEC as it always has. I also thought that with the new CSX intermodal facility being built in Rocky Mount, that the S Line was a new way to give some Amtrak trains (Carolinian and Silver Star) the right of way on the S Line, while letting CSX dominate the A Line (with the exception of the Palmetto, Silver Meteor, and Auto Train). They could potentially run a single daily round trip from Raleigh to Morehead and back, with stops in Selma, Goldsboro, Kinston, New Bern, Havelock, and Morehead City. The line is owned by NS, and most of it to my knowledge is single track and not real fast. Perhaps that’s why they run the thruway motor coaches from Wilson to Morehead and Wilmington, as a connection to/from the Palmetto and Carolinian (Charlotte to Raleigh segment only).
 

west point

Conductor
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Jun 9, 2015
Messages
2,210
Selma - Morehead City is single track with almost no passing sidings Several sidings are in te long range plans by NC RR. As to wen have forgotten when.
 

AGM.12

Train Attendant
Joined
Jan 3, 2018
Messages
77
Location
SC
I recall from earlier plans that there would be a third track built parallel to the A line from Petersburg to Centralia where it would connect to the S Line to stop at RVM and continue on to Staples Mill Rd. Except for Auto Train, all other Amtrak trains would use this hybrid alignment.
 

Amtrak_Carolinian_2020

Train Attendant
Joined
Jan 14, 2020
Messages
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I recall from earlier plans that there would be a third track built parallel to the A line from Petersburg to Centralia where it would connect to the S Line to stop at RVM and continue on to Staples Mill Rd. Except for Auto Train, all other Amtrak trains would use this hybrid alignment.
Centralia is in Chester, about halfway between Petersburg and Richmond, correct? And would trains on the S Line use the Petersburg station? If the RVM that you’re referring to is Richmond Main Street Station, the recently published news about the upgrades to Amtrak’s Virginia service from Washington to Richmond mentions that trains other than Newport News originating/terminating Northeast Regional trains could eventually use Main Street in addition to Staples Mill.
https://wtop.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/train2.jpg
 

Palmetto

Conductor
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May 12, 2014
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Location
Miami
From what I remember reading, in order to serve Main Street Richmond, it's the CSX Bellwood Subdivision that needs quite a bit of work so passenger trains can run on it. That leaves the current route at Centralia, IINM.
 

west point

Conductor
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Jun 9, 2015
Messages
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The Bellwood sub has many industries on the east side. Cannot remember how many switches are on the sub for access to the customers ?
 
Joined
Sep 22, 2019
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Centralia is in Chester, about halfway between Petersburg and Richmond, correct? And would trains on the S Line use the Petersburg station? If the RVM that you’re referring to is Richmond Main Street Station, the recently published news about the upgrades to Amtrak’s Virginia service from Washington to Richmond mentions that trains other than Newport News originating/terminating Northeast Regional trains could eventually use Main Street in addition to Staples Mill.
https://wtop.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/train2.jpg
The chosen plan is that eventually every train in Richmond will serve both Staples Mill Road and Main Street, and everything that passes through Petersburg, including the five trips a day on the S-Line, will serve it (except the Auto Train, of course).

From here
Screen Shot 2020-01-15 at 9.58.53 PM.png

SEHSR Proposed Corridor Map.png
 
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