Rail Lines A Newsletter from the North Carolina Railroad Company

Forum draws sellout crowd in Raleigh

More than 300 people attend....
On March 19th the North Carolina Railroad Company hosted Progress in Motion: 2030 at the McKimmon Center in Raleigh. Progress in Motion: 2030 was a one-day forum intended to bring together those who have an interest or vision in developing freight, passengeEconomic Development Panelr and commuter rail service to improve transportation, encourage economic growth, create jobs and lighten the carbon footprint in North Carolina.

Progress in Motion: 2030
provided a unique opportunity to hear from state leaders and experts in the rail freight and transit sectors about costs and benefits, innovations, environmental challenges, the latest rider and freight projections, public-private and regional partnerships in the rail industry. NCRR will use the information shared
at the forum to devise Governor Hunt its capital investment plans and operating strategies for 2012-2030. 

To read a full summary of the event or to review Jim McClellan's presentation on sharing the rails visit http://www.ncrr.com/progress-in-motion-2030.html.

Thank you to everyone who made
Progress in Motion: 2030 a success!

Former NC Governor Jim Hunt energized
the audience as he encouraged rail investment.

In the News…

Norfolk Southern facilitates $2.2 billion in industrial development in 2008
Norfolk Southern Corporation recently reported that in 2008 it participated in locating 80 new industries and expanding 35 existing industries along its rail lines. Norfolk Southern assisted states, local governments, and economic development officials throughout 20 states in helping customers identify locations for new or expanded facilities. This effort represents an investment of more than $2.2 billion by Norfolk Southern customers and is expected to create 3,623 jobs and more than 136,000 carloads of new rail traffic annually. To learn more visit http://www.nscorp.com/nscportal/nscorp/Media/ News%20Releases/2009/industrial.html.

Corridor management legislation works its way through the NC General Assembly
Legislation that would help protect important rail corridors throughout the state is making its way through the House. House Bill 116 encourages railroads to provide their maps to local governments and surveyors and to respond more quickly to information requests.The North Carolina Railroad Company is also revising its corrdior management policies. The revised policies, the legislation, and recent work by many of the other railroads in the state are intended to ensure rail corridors are preserved for future freight and passenger development. The News and Observer, "N.C. Railroad yields on land use in its corridor" 6 April 2009.
The News and Observer, "Elbow room for trains" 7 April 2009.

CATS gets $21 million from stimulus package
The Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) is claiming $21 million of the $103 million in funding North Carolina received from the federal stimulus package. CATS is pleased, but had hoped more transit money would have been included in the stimulus package. Of the $787 billion stimulus package, transit grants totaled $7 billion, high speed and intercity passenger rail received $8 billion, and highways and bridges account for $28 billion. Although CATS is developing plans to extend the Lynx line into northeast Charlotte, CATS plans to use the $21 million to improve its bus maintenance center.
Charlotte Business Journal, "CATS claims $21M for transit projects" 27 March 2009.

Railroad traffic continues to decline
According to the Association of American Railroads (AAR) the originating carloads on U.S. railroads plunged 17.3 % in March to 1.1 million units. Intermodal volume, totalling 729,033 units, fell 14.9%. Weather-related problems, like flooding in the Midwest, added to the decline. Total volume for the 1st quarter of 2009 is down 15.2% to an estimated 345.8 billion ton-miles. A Transportation & Logistics Reserach Group Report projected that the average voulme for Class I railroads would decline 8.4% in 2009.
Progressive Railroading, "March traffic at 'kick them when they're down' levels for U.S. roads" 3 April 2009.

Triangle area poll shows support for transit tax
The Regional Transportation Alliance (RTA) recently commissioned a poll to gauge Triangle voters support of a proposed local sales tax increase for public transportation. The poll of 1,006 registered voters found that 49.1% favored the legislation and 42.1% opposed it; the rest were undecided. When asked if they would vote for the 1/2 cent sales tax if it were on a local referendum ballot, 52.8% said they would vote in favor of it.
The News & Observer, "Transit tax finds backing" 25 March 2009.

Working on the Railroad
Carl Hollowell

Carl Hollowell is the General Manager of the Aberdeen Carolina & Western Railway in Star, North Carolina. He is also serving a two-year term as the current president of the Railway Association of North Carolina. Carl began his railroad career with the South Carolina Central Railroad (SCRF) in Hartsville, South Carolina, after receiving his BBA in Computer Information Systems Management (CISM) from Francis Marion University in Florence, South Carolina. The SCRF was one of several RailTex acquisitions within the mid-Atlantic region from both CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern Railway. Carl continued his career with RailTex, holding various operational and management positions. In 1993, Carl served as Director of Operations and Rail Planning for Tengizchevroil, a joint venture between Chevron Overseas Petroleum and the former Soviet Republic of Kazakstan. In 1997, Carl returned to RailTex's domestic operations as the General Manager of the North Carolina & Virginia Railroad, the Chesapeake & Albemarle Railroad and the Virginia Southern Railroad, all headquartered in Ahoskie, North Carolina. In 2003, Carl accepted the position of Vice President of Operations for OmniTRAX of Denver, Colorado. In 2007, longing to return to North Carolina, Carl accepted the position at the Aberdeen Carolina & Western Railway. Carl, his wife MIchelle, and their four children reside in Randleman, North Carolina.

Did you know ...

NCRR to conduct Commuter Rail Ridership Market Demand Study
The North Carolina Railroad Company announced on March 19th that it is planning a commuter rail ridership and market study for 140 miles of the NCRR rail corridor, from Goldsboro to Greensboro, through the Triangle and Triad.

The 2008 Shared Corridor Commuter Rail Capacity study determined that it was possible to operate commuter rail service on the same tracks that already carry Norfolk Southern freight trains and Amtrak passenger trains, at costs ranging between $2.3 million and $9.3 million per mile for passing tracks, bridge improvements and crossing upgrades. Input from local chambers of commerce, businesses along the line, citizens, and state leaders was positive and there was a strong consensus that a market study should be the next step in determining the cost-benefit potential of as many as four morning and four evening trains for commuters.

NCRR is selecting a firm to do the study, which will take between six and nine months to complete. The market study will answer questions such as where potential riders live and work, and whether there is enough demand to make such a project cost beneficial. 

Published by the North Carolina Railroad Company Volume 3, Issue 2 NCRR Logo
Comments or questions? Call Catherine Campbell or Kat Christian at (919) 954-7601 or e-mail: raillines@ncrr.com

2809 Highwoods Blvd. Suite 100
Raleigh, NC 27604

To subscribe or unsubscribe to Rail Lines, please send an email to raillines@ncrr.com.