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.

May 262012

Southern Railway Steam Locomotive 630If you have been waiting to ride a train behind a century-old steam locomotive, well here is your chance.

As part of the 21st Century Steam program of Norfolk Southern and the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, excursions are being offered in June in North Carolina and Virginia behind steam locomotive 630.

June 16-17, Spencer to Barber, N.C., and return
Host: North Carolina Transportation Museum
Train departures from museum: 9 a.m., 12:15 p.m., and 3:30 p.m. each day
Route: Norfolk Southern “S-Line” between Spencer and Barber, 24-mile round trip
Power: steam locomotive 630 only (no diesels assisting)
Equipment: air-conditioned coaches with reclining seats and large picture windows
Fare: $35 adults, $25 children ages 3-12. Children 2 and under not occupying seats do not require tickets.

June 23, Spencer to Winston-Salem, N.C., one way (bus return)
Host: North Carolina Transportation Museum
Train departs North Carolina Transportation Museum 10 a.m.
Train arrives Winston-Salem 2 p.m.
Bus arrives North Carolina Transportation Museum 3 p.m.
Route: Norfolk Southern main line from Spencer to Greensboro, and NS “K-Line” from Greensboro to Winston-Salem
Power: steam locomotive 630 with diesels assisting
Equipment: air-conditioned coaches
Fare: $80. Includes box lunch and bus return to North Carolina Transportation Museum in Spencer.

June 24, Winston-Salem, N.C., to Roanoke, Va., one way (with bus connections from Roanoke and to Winston Salem)
Train departs Winston-Salem 10 a.m.
Train arrives Roanoke 3:30 p.m.
Route: Norfolk Southern “Punkinvine” line between Winston-Salem and Roanoke
Power: steam locomotive 630 with diesels assisting
Equipment: air-conditioned coaches
Fare: $95. Includes box lunch and bus transportation. For
Roanoke-originating passengers, bus will depart Roanoke 7 a.m.; for Winston-Salem-originating passengers, bus will depart Roanoke within a half hour of train’s arrival in Roanoke.

Other upcoming public excursions (details to be released at a later date):

July 7: Roanoke, VA to Bristol, VA (one way with bus return)
July 8: Bristol, VA to Knoxville, TN (one way with bus return)
July 16: Knoxville, TN to Chattanooga, TN (via Harriman Junction) (one way with bus return)
Sept 1 & 2: Chattanooga, TN to Cleveland, TN (two round trips per day)
Sept 8: Chattanooga, TN to Birmingham, AL (one way with bus return)

Tickets for all trips are available through the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum’s website at


Norfolk Southern Breaks Ground In Charlotte

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May 032012

NS CharlotteNorfolk Southern broke ground on the Charlotte Regional Intermodal Facility at Charlotte Douglas International Airport. The facility, which will transfer trailers and containers between trucks and trains, will be capable of 200,000 lifts per year and will replace Norfolk Southern’s existing intermodal facility in downtown Charlotte.

“Charlotte is a key hub on the Norfolk Southern intermodal system and on our Crescent Corridor, a new rail intermodal network under development stretching from New Jersey to Memphis and New Orleans,” said Norfolk Southern CEO Wick Moorman. “This facility will greatly expand our ability to handle intermodal traffic and move more freight off the nation’s overburdened highway system and onto the rails.

“Today’s groundbreaking is a big deal for the city of Charlotte and our community,” said Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx. “Norfolk Southern Corporation and the city of Charlotte have been working on this agreement since it was envisioned 15 years ago by the Airport and Charlotte businesses. This intermodal facility is projected to bring billions in business and places Charlotte even more in the manufacturing, distribution, transportation and economic growth business.”

Because its existing 40-acre facility cannot be expanded, Norfolk Southern is building a more efficient, easily expandable, 200-acre terminal between two runways to handle the anticipated growth of intermodal traffic. A new interchange on I-485 that has just been completed will connect the facility to the region’s highway system.

The $92-million facility will be constructed with the assistance of $15.7 million in federal funds and some financial support from the state of North Carolina. The Federal Highway Administration, the U.S. Department of Transportation, the North Carolina Department of Transportation and the city of Charlotte provided extensive help in planning the facility. Construction is expected to be completed in late 2013.

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