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Rail News: High-Speed Rail

North Carolina considers options for routing of high-speed line


The North Carolina Department of Transportation has begun a series of meetings to solicit public comment on its planned high-speed rail route.

Part of the South East High Speed Rail corridor, North Carolina’s route is divided into 26 segments and each segment has two to three routing options for the new high-speed trains.

For example, in Raleigh, CSX Transportation owns tracks that run on the east side of the city, while Norfolk Southern owns tracks that run on the west side. NCDOT must determine which of these routes will cause the least disruption.

Since SEHSR is proposing a grade separated route that would include nearly 100 new bridges and overpasses, NCDOT must examine which tracks to use in order to minimize inconvenience, says NCDOT Rail Division Director Patrick Simmons.

The public comment period continues until the end of August, but Simmons says so far, NCDOT is getting a “range of feedback.”

However, the sentiment that Simmons says best sums up the feelings about the project came from a woman at a meeting in McKinney, Va., near where the North Carolina route would join with Virginia’s HSR line.

The woman told Simmons, “I don’t mind that fast train coming here. In fact, I think it ought to be. But please, slide it back away from my house.”

NCDOT will continue to listen to residents’ concerns and then see if there’s a way to find middle ground between what they agency has planned and what the residents want, Simmons says.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 8/11/2010