Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

$461 million project will speed train trip to Raleigh by 13 minutes
wbtv ^ | 3/23/11 | AP/WBTV)

Posted on 03/23/2011 12:13:31 PM PDT by Nachum

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP/WBTV) - North Carolina transportation officials say they've reached an agreement that will allow them to obtain $461 million in federal grants to improve train service.

The agreement will allow faster and more frequent passenger service between Charlotte and Raleigh. State transportation secretary Gene Conti says the agency will seek bids for contracts for tracks, bridges and trains.

Officials say the new service would cut travel time from Charlotte to Raleigh to less than three hours, even with seven stops along the way. However, the ride will only be 13 minutes faster.

The project is expected to create nearly 5,000 jobs.

With the millions, the state will be taking out a zig-zag Norfolk-Southern and CSX trains have to maneuver through in Charlotte's Fourth Ward area.

The project will also add miles of double track and miles of passing track so trains can pass each other.

The work will also straighten out some of the lines and build bridges where the trains intersect with roadways.

Money will also go to begin developing a huge train station in Fourth Ward north of the Panthers stadium. That will be called the Charlotte Gateway Station, which will bring together Amtrak, a future commuter rail to north Mecklenburg and a streetcar through Charlotte.

North Carolina had to obtain an agreement with Norfolk Southern Railway to qualify for the grants. The Federal Railroad Administration had been concerned that slower freight trains might hamper the new service.

Copyright 2011 WBTV. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: boondoggle; lahood; million; project; speed; spending; waste; will

1 posted on 03/23/2011 12:13:40 PM PDT by Nachum
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Jet Jaguar; NorwegianViking; ExTexasRedhead; HollyB; FromLori; EricTheRed_VocalMinority; ...

The list, ping

Let me know if you would like to be on or off the ping list

http://www.nachumlist.com/


2 posted on 03/23/2011 12:14:28 PM PDT by Nachum (The complete Obama list at www.nachumlist.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Nachum

what waste ...


3 posted on 03/23/2011 12:16:56 PM PDT by George from New England (Escaped CT in 2006, now living north of Tampa)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Nachum
Wow, does their stupid burn?

By my calculations, that works out to $92K per job. The government is spending $92K to give someone a temporary job. Sometimes I'm surprised we're not 26T in debt, rather than just $14T.

4 posted on 03/23/2011 12:18:02 PM PDT by OldDeckHand
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Nachum

Willie Green will be elated!


5 posted on 03/23/2011 12:18:41 PM PDT by TSgt (Colonel Allen West & Michele Bachman - 2012 POTUS Dream Team Ticket!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Nachum

North Carolina transportation officials say they’ve reached an agreement that will allow them to obtain $461 million in federal grants to improve train service.


This is going to wind up being another waste of money that we do not have. How much will this choo-choo have to be subsidized for lack or customers?


6 posted on 03/23/2011 12:19:01 PM PDT by Grunthor
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Nachum

The goal is to increase union dues that end up at the DNC.


7 posted on 03/23/2011 12:19:41 PM PDT by NoLibZone (Impeach Obama & try him for treason / Homosexuals reject diversity / Unions finally caught for theft)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Nachum

As good patriotic Americans we should all be glad to spend half a billon tax dollars to get people to Raleigh 13 minutes faster

And all those workers in those new jobs can be proud of their contribution to easing the lives of taxpayers and to society

(OK, BS meter pegged yet?)


8 posted on 03/23/2011 12:26:02 PM PDT by silverleaf (All that is necessary for evil to succeed, is that good men do nothing)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NoLibZone

I bet less than 20% will actually go to hardware purchase.. and even then, whatever is bought will be inflated by 100’s of times. But that of course is why the local governments are all for it. Increased taxes be damned.


9 posted on 03/23/2011 12:27:41 PM PDT by Track9 (Make War!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Nachum

Idiocy!
$35461538.4615 per minute given....


10 posted on 03/23/2011 12:30:19 PM PDT by cranked
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: OldDeckHand
that works out to $92K per job

And about $35,460,000 per minute. Government accounting at it's finest.

11 posted on 03/23/2011 12:32:20 PM PDT by floozy22 (The left has an irrational devotion to protecting evil.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Nachum

....and Amtrak has done so well for all those years!

this post hijacked by saltnlemons(to lazy to sign on)


12 posted on 03/23/2011 12:36:52 PM PDT by tajgirvan (NEVER FORGET 9/11! Please say a Prayer for our Troops and their families.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: floozy22

and you realize, the cost of this is probably WAY under-estimated in any event.


13 posted on 03/23/2011 12:41:55 PM PDT by esoxmagnum
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: silverleaf

They have over a million and a half people on food stamps and over 400,000 unemployed....those 5000 jobs (if for real) aren’t going make such a difference.

At least Florida refused a similar offer, and we all know the real cost will be at least double the grant.


14 posted on 03/23/2011 12:48:41 PM PDT by Dudoight
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: silverleaf

Not to worry, it’s not your money. We’ll just borrow it from the Chinese and our great-grandchildren will pay them back by pulling rickshaws for them when they vacation in the territories of the former United States.


15 posted on 03/23/2011 12:50:16 PM PDT by Lonesome in Massachussets (Sulzberger Family Motto: Trois generations d'imbeciles, assez)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: floozy22

surest way to a fortune is to have a Govt. contract!

saltnlemons


16 posted on 03/23/2011 12:52:43 PM PDT by tajgirvan (NEVER FORGET 9/11! Please say a Prayer for our Troops and their families.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Nachum
The project is expected to create nearly 5,000 jobs.

No it will NOT create jobs. It will destroy jobs in the aggregate. No sane person with even the most minute understanding of economics should EXPECT that this will create jobs. Idiotic. This is the reason that we have a horrific budget deficit. Wasteful projects like this that spend money we don't have and have to borrow destroy job creation by crowding out capital that could be put to better.

This is why I hate the AP (associated press). They make the declarative statement that this project is expected to create 5,000 jobs as if is a fact. Expected by whom. NO it is not a fact and should not have been reported as such. There is no need for this project and it's a total and absolute waste of taxpayer money at a time when we are trying to get a handle on the budget.
17 posted on 03/23/2011 1:00:09 PM PDT by truthguy (Good intentions are not enough.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: George from New England

It is a waste in terms of making trains faster, true. But the principle purpose is to make them safer and a side effect of doing so will be that trains can move faster. The same thing happened on the Boston-DC Amtrak corridor back in the 1980’s. The principle thing was replacing old track with modern track and a side effect was the trains could travel twice as fast on the safer track.


18 posted on 03/23/2011 1:01:23 PM PDT by MeganC (NO WAR FOR OIL! ........except when a Democrat's in charge.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Nachum

Officials say the new service would cut travel time from Charlotte to Raleigh to less than three hours, even with seven stops along the way. However, the ride will only be 13 minutes faster.


Hey - I could have told them how to do this and I only would have charged ‘em $100,000,000.

Cut out one of the stops. Duh!


19 posted on 03/23/2011 1:03:54 PM PDT by 2 Kool 2 Be 4-Gotten (Welcome to the USA - where every day is Backwards Day!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 2 Kool 2 Be 4-Gotten

Dud! Why don’t they just leave 13 minutes earlier?


20 posted on 03/23/2011 1:07:57 PM PDT by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Nachum
The project is expected to create nearly 5,000 jobs.

Some facts:

- Only two rail systems in the world at least make money: between Tokyo and Osaka, Japan, and and between Paris and Lyon, France.

- Therefore, all but these two rail systems require subsidies (read tax money, which could cost jobs) to remain in operation - that cost is never calculated as part of the equation.

- Since Japan introduced high-speed bullet trains, passenger rail has lost more than half its market share to the automobile. Since Italy, France, and other European countries opened their high-speed rail lines, rail's market share in Europe has dwindled from 8.2 to 5.8 percent of travel.

- Capital costs of recent rail projects in Denver and Seattle are running 60 to 100 percent above projections. Once construction begins, politicians will feel obligated to throw good taxpayers' money after bad.

- Part of the justification for high-speed rail is that they will take cars off the road. If that is the case, then you have to include the number of associated jobs that would be lost, as well as the increased emissions associated with rail compared to the reduction in cars, neither of which is done.

- More likely, high-speed rail would displace some amount of commuter air travel, in which case you also have to include the number of associated jobs that would be lost, which is not done.

Bottom line: If high-speed rail doesn't work in Japan and Europe, how can it work in the United States?

21 posted on 03/23/2011 1:24:32 PM PDT by jda ("Righteousness exalts a nation . . .")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: OldDeckHand
By my calculations, that works out to $92K per job. The government is spending $92K to give someone a temporary job. Sometimes I'm surprised we're not 26T in debt, rather than just $14T.

That calculation is about right if you are just talking about the federal stimulus dollars. I just read another article that says that the stimulus money covers only 10% of the total cost of the project. So, between federal and state money, that comes out to nearly $1 million per job. And, believe me, considering North Carolina's budget problems, some of that "state money" could easily become federal bailout money in the near future.

Raleigh-Durham had been planning a light rail system for almost a decade - a project that was at the center of a massive debate in the city. The project died in 2004 because the federal government denied funding. Why did the federal government deny funding, you ask? Because it was just too wasteful for them. Think about that.

I guess this is Plan B, and by some measures it's even more ridiculous. What does it matter if you're saving 13 minutes off the train travel time between Raleigh and Charlotte when you can save 45 minutes by driving? And that doesn't take into account the necessity of train travelers finding other forms of transportation to get to their final destination - neither Raleigh nor Charlotte are what you would call "walkable" cities.

The advocates of the plan are projecting 2 million passengers a year. That's something, considering the fact that maybe 100,000 passengers per year use the existing Raleigh-Charlotte line. 2 million, by the way, also happens to be greater than the combined populations of Charlotte, Raleigh, and Durham. Maybe I don't speak for most people, but in my 15 years living in Raleigh, I would say I traveled to Charlotte maybe 5 times - I just never had any reason to go. Other than people going to sporting events or college students going home for the weekend, I don't really know anyone who takes regular trips between the two metro areas.

Now I live in Houston, which has a $40 million per mile light rail system. I both live and work within feasible walking distance of train stops - something that most certainly would not be the case for many Raleigh commuters if a light rail system were put into place there. Like any sensible person, however, I drive to work.

I could go on. The absurd arguments in favor of rail transit in Raleigh have driven me crazy for over a decade now. I'll just leave you with one anecdote and a classic show tune. During the debate over the light-rail system, the News & Observer ran a series of specials on the issue. They had profiles and quotes by a number of locals and their position on the project. Needless to say, most of the individuals interviewed were in favor of it. However, all of those interviewed who were in favor of it said they would either not ride the train or would take it "once a month or so to go to the museum". Not one said they would use it for regular commuting. I am still shaking my head about it to this day.

And here is the classic show tune.
22 posted on 03/23/2011 1:28:08 PM PDT by The Pack Knight (Laugh, and the world laughs with you. Weep, and the world laughs at you.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Nachum

I can do Charlotte to Raliegh by car in less than 2.5 hours. See, I just saved 30 minutes and it didn’t cost $500 million. ‘High-speed’ my beeehind.


23 posted on 03/23/2011 1:36:44 PM PDT by lwd
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Nachum

I see the train come through Cary (just W. of Raleigh) about 3 days a week.

I can see through the windows and count the passengers. Usually no more than 6-10 folks in the 4 cars.
High speed rail would be a total waste of money.


24 posted on 03/23/2011 1:41:00 PM PDT by Vinnie
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: The Pack Knight
"neither Raleigh nor Charlotte are what you would call "walkable" cities."

Therein lies the reason that all rail comparisons between the US and Europe ultimately fail. No one is ever going to take the train between Charlotte in Raleigh or Atlanta or anywhere else in the Southern US precisely because of your point - there are no "walkable cities" in the South - hell, outside of New York and Chicago and perhaps Boston, there really aren't any walkable cities in the US, at all. People can drive to those destinations (across the South) in very reasonable amounts of time (even compared to high-speed rail) and then not be burdened with renting a car upon arrival.

You can see a lot of Europe without ever renting a car, but American cities - primarily because American cities are literally hundreds (and hundreds) of years younger than their European counterparts, just weren't designed similarly. Land is a problem for them, it's still not a problem for us.

25 posted on 03/23/2011 1:41:23 PM PDT by OldDeckHand
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Nachum
What an incredible boondoggle: 60 mph is not high speed rail, and the federal government should not be funding "high speed rail projects" that are actually low speed rail.
26 posted on 03/23/2011 1:48:33 PM PDT by snowsislander
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Nachum
This article explains the underlying problems with high speed rail service.

You can not run it on current lines for both scheduling and practical purposes.

Every stop along the way adds to the your trip times. Yet, you must add stops to obtain the revenue necessary to support operations.

So, let's see what our tax dollars bought for $ 461 million dollars other than rebuilding a rail line. It saves 13 minutes or 780 seconds. That's slight more than $ 500,000 a second.

Hmmm. Looks just like the jobs “saved or created” by other stimulus packages - $ 250,000 per job.

Any questions why we are broke?

27 posted on 03/23/2011 1:59:23 PM PDT by Nip (TANSTAAFL)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Nachum
$461 million in federal grants

...fruit of the magical Willie Green tree.

28 posted on 03/23/2011 2:06:49 PM PDT by WOBBLY BOB ( "I don't want the majority if we don't stand for something"- Jim Demint)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: OldDeckHand
Sometimes I'm surprised we're not 26T in debt, rather than just $14T.

Trust me, they're working on it....

29 posted on 03/23/2011 2:33:19 PM PDT by Eepsy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson