High-Speed Rail

A picture of railroad ties.
LooiNL / Wikipedia

Traffic is expected to swell in the coming years between the N.C. State University Campus and Downtown Cary.

Tonight and tomorrow, the is hosting public meetings to collect feedback on safety issues at railroad crossings.

“We're trying to look at transpiration solutions, not only for cars, but also for pedestrians and bicyclists in the area," says Senior Transportation Planner Shelby Powell.

The abandoned railroad corridor that has become the American Tobacco Trail.
Durham Trails and Greenways 2011 Master Plan

Lawmakers are considering an incremental plan to build faster rail lines between Raleigh and Richmond. While officials in North Carolina and Virginia had hoped a high-speed rail might be feasible between the two capitals, funding obstacles remain in the way.

One major  challenge is creating grade separation, keeping tracks from crossing existing roads. The basic tracks that cross over regular roads are limiting.

"You never reach a higher speed than 79 mph," said North Carolina Rep. Bill Brawlyer, who co-chairs the commission working on the rail project.

An Amtrak train arrives in Greensboro
Mark Hogan / Flickr Creative Commons

The state DOT is swearing in new members of a high speed rail commission in North Carolina. 

Four members of the General Assembly and a Raleigh attorney will be named Monday to the Virginia-North Carolina High Speed Rail Compact.  Crews are working to upgrade tracks between Charlotte and Raleigh now for the corridor that's planned to run from Atlanta to Washington, D.C.  Supporters of the project have said high speed rail is key infrastructure.  Opponents have called it too costly. 

Lawmakers from North Carolina and Virginia met earlier today in Richmond to plan out the future of a high-speed rail corridor that would link Raleigh to Washington. The meeting was largely symbolic.

Dave DeWitt: High-speed rail is essentially derailed, thanks to last year’s federal budget deal that zeroed out funding in 2012. Some money is still left over from previous grants, but it’s a small percentage of what is needed to make a high-speed train a reality.

The State Department of Transportation has been working on a high speed rail proposal for downtown Raleigh for several years.  Today the public is invited to see an updated plan at the Raleigh convention Center. 

North Carolina will receive 4 million dollars of the 2.4 billion dollars in federal money Florida declined for high speed rail projects. The Department of Transportation will use the money for an environmental impact study of a potential high speed rail line between Raleigh and Richmond. DOT spokeswoman Greer Beaty says this is something people should be excited about.