Wednesday, January 27, 2010

High-Speed Rail for NC?

Thursday update:
North Carolina's receiving $545 million from that pool of $8 billion for high-speed rail projects.
Here's the story that ran today in the Observer and the News & Observer of Raleigh. Here's the press release from the N.C. DOT.

The DOT reports that North Carolina got $520 million for improvements to tracks that will allow higher speeds between Raleigh and Charlotte and $25 million for projects to improve service reliability from Raleigh north to Virginia. Virginia received $75 million for improvements to the Richmond to Washington section of the Southeast High Speed Rail Corridor.

A rail "fact sheet" from notes that the strategy in North Carolina is to improve the route incrementally by upgrading existing rights of way. (I.e., instead of wholesale replacement of the line or adding hot new technologies. Don't hold your breath for bullet trains or a French-style TGV.)

Wednesday night post: Apparently, tomorrow's the day it's announced who's getting the $8 billion set aside for high-speed rail projects. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson is to appear and "make a Recovery Act announcement" at the Durham train station at 1:15 p.m, says an EPA press release.

Other news media are reporting in from other states. The Orlando Sentinel says President Obama will be in Tampa, and Florida is likely to get $1.25 billion to $1.4 billion. Crain's Chicago Business says Midwest and California also getting money. Some 13 rail corridors in 31 states will get money. Which has me thinking, the Charlotte-Richmond line might not be getting so many pennies after all.

Pat Simmons of the N.C. DOT rail division wouldn't confirm anything, but he said the Charlotte-Richmond corridor asked for $5.4 billion for corridor development. The idea would be to make a lot of fixes along the route to trim travel time. And (this is my wish) maybe add a few more trains?

The N&O's Bruce Siceloff is on the case. He'll snoop out details, I'm sure. See his Crosstown Traffic blog.


Anonymous said...

Mary - please clarify from MTC meeting.

1)CATS will cover the 1.5mil operating cost for the Streetcar


2)CATS will be raising fares "25 cent, or 16%, increase in fares on local routes as part of the solution to filling the gag"


greed knows no bounds said...

And isn't it just like North Carolina to ask for $5.4 billion when only $8 billion is set aside for the ENTIRE country???

Anonymous said...

Just a reminder that "get" means "borrow at the expense of our grandchildren." Not that Mary cares about the distinction.

Anonymous said...

Our grandkids will be paying $10 a gallon for gas at minimum. If all we leave them is a network of highways that they can't afford to use, they'll be irked. If we leave them alternatives, such as, oh, rail, they will be less resentfull when they change our diapers in the nursing homes.

Anonymous said...

How can we possibly afford to do this? It's amazing that people think we can print money out of nothing and think there is no consequence.

Anonymous said...

All of you whining about the money this will take, go take a look at the cost of building multilane highways that will crumble within 15 years, something we can't seem to stop wasting billions upon billions on.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe some of you think we shouldn't invest in our own country. Meanwhile, other countries are investing and they are going to pass us by. It's so ignorant to think the USA will always remain #1. Earlier generations had to make investments and now we have to make investments to support future generations and the vitality of this country. People that think we should just do nothing are the reason why this country is going down the drain and fast!

think deeper said...

Telecommuting, anyone?

How many people clog the roads twice a day so they can be physically present at a job that could just as easily be done exactly the same way we're all posting here?

There are answers to issues other than throwing money at it.

Anonymous said...

We need to fix and maintain our roads. Trains can wait until there is a demand for them.
You anti-car/road folks need to ask yourself:
When's the last time an ambulance, firetruck or police car responded by train?
When's the last time your garbage was picked up by train?

We are not going to turn into Europe.

Anonymous said...

9:42 - the future of the car is rechargeable vehicles fed by nuclear power plants. Even the Obamessiah acknowledged nuclear in the State of the Union (to stone silence from fellow Democrats). Even in New York City less than 10% of workers use mass transit. That's why LYNX has to lie about their ridership (they report "boardings" rather than "riders" because a roundtrip counts as two "boardings").

1:03 - the reason we're "going down the drain" is because we're BROKE from paying for government boondoggles like this. Rail is NINETEENTH CENTURY technology. If you want to model our transportation on AMTRAK you won't just flush the US down a drain, you'll literally drive it over a cliff.

Anonymous said...


Why don't you ever report truth about transit the way Meck Deck does? Take a look for instance at the real story of CATS's insane budget:

Just admit, Mary, once, that you are WRONG, and you have BEEN WRONG, about EVERYTHING TRANSIT in Charlotte.

Anonymous said...

09:23:00 - if we wait for the roads to become useless for most Americans, before we start building rail, we won't turn into Europe. We'll turn into Haiti. These projects have long lead times. Gas shortages, however, can start overnight. And soon will.

"the future of the car is rechargeable vehicles ":

Those rechargeable vehicles require large amounts of copper, lithium, neodymium, lanthanum and other exotic metals. There is no way we can have one of these in every garage.

"Rail is NINETEENTH CENTURY technology. If"

Roadway is EIGHTEENTH CENTURY technology. Rail, however, is 21st Century. Just look at where the state of the art in rail has gone in Europe.

Anonymous said...

Gee, why are the Japanese, Chinese, Indians and Europeans so big on updating "19th Century" rail transportation? Sure must be a lot of people anxious to drive it over a cliff.

Velma from Valdese said...

"When's the last time your garbage was picked up by train?"

Last Wednesday.

My drunken neighbor Rufe abandoned his junker of a pickup on the tracks outside of town.

Anonymous said...

9:58 - Q: Why aren't YOU in Europe?

A: Because you like road-based America better. (Oh, and a lot of Europe is better-served by road than by train. How do you get from the Milan airport to the central Milan train station? NOT BY TRAIN (you can't)! How do you get from Florence to Siena most efficiently? NOT BY TRAIN (Bus/Car is faster).

So maybe you "Europe is perfect; America sucks" people need to LEARN JUST A LITTLE BEFORE YOU MOUTH OFF WITH YOUR IGNORANCE.

Anonymous said...


That's classic!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

To the person who said "We are not going to turn into Europe". Have you ever even been to Europe?! Their roads are better than ours, and so are their trains!

Pro-transit people are NOT anti-roads. We are anti-roads-are-the- only-solution. Supporting high speed rail in America is not anti-American and it does not mean we are going to turn into "Europe" or wherever. Anti-American is saying that we shouldn't do anything nor should we invest in our own country! We have to remain competitive. Times are changing and it is so ignorant to think America will always be #1.

Anonymous said...

Our country is going down the drain because of the stupidity, lack of vision, and ignorance of so many people in this country (who are ANTI-EVERYTHING because to them, everything is a "boondoggle").

Anonymous said...


We need to invest in our own country! It's funny how people say "borrow at the expense of our grandchildren" yet they are pro-war and anti-investing in this country.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, 9:24: Where the heck are you getting that 10 percent of workers commute by transit in NYC? The Census Bureau says 55 percent in NYC commute by mass transit....Anyone who's ever been to NYC can tell you that's probably a low estimate, and the 45 percent who use cars mostly live and work in the outer boroughs.

Hint, if you want to be taken seriously, don't make stuff up.

Anonymous said...

Why is everyone some ornery? I suffered through 8 years of decisions that I hated from Bush. Now were trying a different tact. I think it's a better tact. If you don't then wait your turn (maybe you'll have to wait 8 years just like I did).

Anonymous said...

anon: 12:11:

Are you suffering because most Wall Street campaign contributions go to Democrats? And perhaps that's why the people who enabled Bernie Madoff will never be revealed?

I don't remember Democrats changing anything when they started their return to majority in 2007.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:34:

While there is no direct train service between Milan Malpensa airport (MXP) and Milano Centrale train station, there most definitely is train service between MXP and the city center of Milan. It's called the Malpensa Express and goes to Milano Cadorna station. From there it's a simple matter of transferring to the subway to go to Centrale.

See also: Newark airport, BWI airport, Providence TF Green airport, Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport, Rome-Fiumicino airport, London-Heathrow airport, Pisa airport, etc.

And while getting from Florence to Siena by train is a pain in the butt (it requires a change of trains midway), a train between Florence and Naples is 3.5 hours, Driving it takes 5+ hours.

J said...

So $8 billion is going to 31 states. Let's examine how this will work out.

-1/28/2010: President announces distribution. All 31 states declare their transportation problems are completely solved.
-1/29/2010: The 31 states begin filling out the required federal paperwork.
-6/30/2015: Paperwork complete, construction begins.
-7/1/2015: Grassroots movement begins to amend the Constitution to allow Presidents to run for 5 terms. The Messiah has only a year left in office and he needs more time.
-1/20/2025: Obama begins his 5th and final turn.
-9/31/2025: Construction ceases. Not a single line is finished as all lines ran out of money.
10/1/2025: Obama and Dems in House and Senate hold press conference to assure the public that the failure of this project is wholly and only the responsibility of the Republican Party.

Anonymous said...

Didn't obama vote for all the "boondoggles" Bush signed?

Anonymous said...

Once again deletes a post that points out how transit pimpers were WRONG AGAIN regarding CATS's insane budget.

Mary, you're WRONG on transit and the FACTS PROVE IT and you can't even admit to it. That's just sad.

Maybe you just don't like it that I linked to some TRUTH at MeckDeck.

Well, here's the link AGAIN and I will post it on EVERY THREAD here if you delete it again:

Anonymous said...

5:53 - Yes, Obama voted to inflict PATRIOT and TARP on us. He voted multiple times to fund the illegal wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He's also continued Bush's illegal warrantless wiretapping and other "unitary president" claptrap.

In short, Bush = Awful; Obama = Bush Jr.

Mary Newsom said...

Dear anonymous 8:42 PM: If your comment was deleted it was because it was obscene, offensive or insulting. I honestly don't remember which was the problem with that one. You can disagree but don't insult people - including me.

Make your points with civility and they remain, regardless of whom you agree with. If you can't follow those rules then you have an anger management problem I can't help you with.

J said...

So there was $8 billion to go around. NC asked for $5 billion of it. NC gets $0.545 billion.

I don't know why, but I find that fall-on-the-floor-laughing hilarious.