Columbia-Charleston Passenger Route Wanted

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Jan 152014

St. Matthews Town Council during its Jan. 7 meeting unanimously endorsed a proposal by the Carolinas Association for Passenger Trains to reinstate commuter passenger service between Charleston and Columbia.

Town Administrator Dick Whetstone said he received the proposal from the CAPT asking the town to support the proposal that would enable passengers to more easily connect with Amtrak trains (the National Railroad Passenger Corporation).

Carolinas Association for Passenger Trains

When Good Transit Ideas Go Bad

 News, Public Transportation  Comments Off on When Good Transit Ideas Go Bad
Aug 112013

So much for the grand plans for the Intermodal Transportation Center that we were all looking forward to in North Charleston. You know, that brand new railway transit passenger station that would connect Amtrak with the airport and the bus lines and other ways of getting in to, out of, and around the lowcountry?

CARTA Intermodal Transit RenderingMore than 15 years ago, planning began for an Intermodal Transportation Center that would, among other things, allow Amtrak to leave its outmoded station in North Charleston. Now the push is to upgrade the old train station site for that purpose, despite having spent $10 million on the ITC property on Montague Avenue.

Apparently, there’s no way the 36-acre site can be developed as intended because of a fundamental conflict with Amtrak and CSX rail that would cost a staggering $25 million to fix.

The dilemma has local officials asking the Federal Transit Authority, which put up the money for the project, for permission to abandon the Montague Avenue site in favor of the old train station. Charleston County Councilman Elliott Summey tells us that ongoing conversations with the FTA are encouraging, and he expects a decision soon. Mr. Summey also is chairman of CARTA’s board.

This story comes to us from the Post & Courier. Please see the full article there –
How did transit plan go so wrong?

Amtrak Add Motor Coach Service to Eastern North Carolina

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Jun 182012

Amtrak officials plan to expand the agency’s Thruway Motor Coach service to eastern North Carolina as part of an effort to expand access to rail services.

AmtrakThe proposed Thruway Motor Coach service will provide service from eastern North Carolina to the Amtrak station in Wilson, N.C.

At the Wilson station, passengers can connect with the Palmetto, which operates two trains daily between New York City and Savannah, Ga., and also access Amtrak’s national system.

The proposed Thruway routes will serve colleges and universities, major military installations and a number of cities and communities that have limited intercity public transportation options, Amtrak officials said in a prepared statement.

Amtrak is working with the communities to secure service stops at each location and refine schedules, and anticipates launching the expansion later this year, they said.

Three Local Train Videos – CSX and Amtrak

 Freight, News  Comments Off on Three Local Train Videos – CSX and Amtrak
Apr 232012

Just a few videos taken out and about in North Charleston with my iPhone.  This first one is of a freight train coming into North Charleston on the lines that parallel River’s Avenue back behind Trident Technical College. Actually. all of these videos were take there, the only the that changes is which direction the trains are going!

This first one was taken today, Monday, April 23, 2012 at about 7:30am.  The crossing sounds you hear are from the crossing at Mabeline Road. Of particular interest is the last car in the train – a modified CSX caboose type work car.

This next one was taken from basically the same spot, but a few yards further back. At about 10am on Friday, April 20, 2012, this short Amtrak passenger train is headed north, out-of-town.

And finally, also from Friday the 20th, a northbound CSX freight recorded from the same location. Yes, I have been spending a lot of time sitting in that parking lot or along side the road. Hopefully that will change soon.

Amtrak History Train Visits Charleston

 Events, History and Preservation  Comments Off on Amtrak History Train Visits Charleston
Mar 202012

In celebration of the 40th anniversary of Amtrak, America’s Railroad® is offering the public an opportunity to view an Exhibit Train, a unique traveling display showcasing the railroad’s history. The train will stop at Ansonborough Field in Charleston, S.C. on March 24 and 25. The exhibit will be open from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. both days.

History TrainThe free exhibit showcases Amtrak history over the decades, displaying memorabilia such as vintage advertising, past menus and dinnerware, and period uniforms. The display will also include train-themed kids’ activities at Chuggington Depot (weather permitting), based on the popular children’s animated television series on Disney Junior.

In addition, commemorative 40th anniversary merchandise will be available for purchase onboard the train including: Amtrak: An American Story, a 144-page commemorative book that chronicles the history of the railroad with archival photographs, a historical timeline and personal narratives for each decade; Amtrak: The First 40 Years, a documentary DVD that provides an exclusive look inside America’s Railroad® with hard-to-find photographs and video footage as well as interviews with past and present leaders.

For more information on Amtrak’s 40th anniversary, visit the official website at The site provides details of the anniversary celebration and tells the Amtrak story by allowing users to explore 40 years of historic photographs and other materials in an extensive and dynamic archive. The site also hosts a blog, provides a link to Amtrak’s online store, and allows individuals to sign up to receive an email alert when the Exhibit Train is coming near their town.

Name Released of Man Killed When Stopped on Tracks

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Dec 162011

The corner’s office has identified the man who died after his car was hit by a trian December 11th in Hanahan.Berkeley County Coroner Bill Salisbury says he is Miguel Zelaya Raudales, 39 years old, of North Charleston and originally from Honduras.

Salisbury said at 1:40 Sunday morning a 1997 Pontiac Sunfire made a right hand turn on railroad tracks off Mabeline Road in Hanahan. The car got stuck as an Amtrak train was coming towards him.

“He appeared to be intoxicated, well the southbound Amtrak struck the car and actually cut the car in half,” Salisbury said.All signals work properly but the train conductor was unable to pull the emergency brakes in time to stop.

“Crossarms came down and some other people had pulled up to the railroad crossing and they jumped out and ran over to his vehicle and beat on the glass and tried to get him to open the door and tried to get him out of the vehicle before the train came,” Salisbury said.

The coroner said they believe because the victim is from Honduras; there mght have been a language barrier, which is why witnesses were unable to help him from the car.Police tracked down a roommate who said he last saw the victim Saturday night and he was intoxicated at that time. The coroner said at this point they believe alcohol was the main factor in this accident.

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