| Carolina Association for Passenger Trains
|City Range Steakhouse, Spartanburg, SC
|(Amended and Approved 1/10/09)
| || ||
|October 11, 2008
||Open - 1:50 PM
& Phil Astwood.
Phil Astwood will distribute minutes to all directors via e-mail
Gene Kirkland will distribute directors' e-mail addresses
Don Stewart will have brochure ready in November
If brochure is not ready, Martin Wheeler will find alternate way to have it printed
John Bobinyec will post SC Resolution on website
Gene Kirkland will send copies of the newsletter to John Wagner
John Bobinyec will peruse purchase of website name "CAPTRail.org"
Jim Frierson will find a site for the December 13 meeting in Columbia.
Secretary's Report -
The report was presented by Bob Bischof and accepted without
additions or corrections. Gene Kirkland agreed to distribute e-mail addresses
for all directors. Phil Astwood distributed corrected copies of the minutes for
the June 23 meeting.
Treasurer's Report -
The report was distributed in the mail by Gene Kirkland and showed
a closing balance of $7,465.48 in the operating account, and $6,535.00 in the
CAPT Challenge account for a total of $14,000.48. With the addition of 3 new
members and the renewal of 17, total membership is currently 172.
The following directors have served the first year of two-year terms and will
continue in office for the next year: Martin Wheeler, Jim Frierson, Gene
Kirkland, Bill Cole, Art Peterson, Jack Stein, Ralph Ward, and Phil Astwood. Directors
Bob Bischoff, Ed Locklin & Don Stewart completed two-year terms and agreed
to stand for re-election. All three were re-elected. All five officers were
re-elected for 2009: President – Martin Wheeler, NC Vice President – Don
Stewart, SC Vice President – Jim Frierson, Secretary – Phil Astwood, and Treasurer
– Gene Kirkland
SC Resolution Drive Update -
Martin announced that the Resolution in support of extended
passenger service in South Carolina
is complete and will be presented to SC legislators as they return for their
next session in January of 2009. At that time we will also distribute copies of
the Resolution to city and county councils and other influential bodies. A copy
of CAPT’s most recent brochure should accompany the Resolution, but the
brochure is yet to be completed. Don Stewart has said that he will have it
complete in November. Martin distributed copies of the Resolution and John
Bobinyec agreed to post it on the website. If the brochure is not completed by
November, Martin suggested Don be asked to send the materials to him and he
will find a way to get it printed.
CAPT Newsletter -
Gene Kirkland said that he had the articles collected and the
next issue would be printed in 2 – 3 weeks. Gene reported that Malcolm Kenton is
doing a great job. John suggested the newsletter might go on line. Gene said
that older copies are on line, but the newest issue goes to members first. If
they so choose, it can be sent via e-mail. At present 8 members have requested
this. Free copies are available to non-members in most stations in the Carolinas.
Gene said that this was one of the best sources for new members. At his
request, Gene will get copies to John Wagner to be put in the Clemson station.
Website Issues -
John reported that the website name “CAPTRail.org is available at
a cost of about $50-$60 per year. The meeting’s consensus was that we purchase
this site and move our material from the Trainweb site.
Rail Developments in the Carolinas -
Gene Kirkland – Additional Frequency for Charlotte/Raleigh Service
– The first two cars (one food service and a coach) were delivered to Wilmington,
Del. today to be refurbished. Two cars are
already there. In addition, 2 locomotives (P42’s) will be leased from Amtrak for
6 months allowing the existing 3 locomotives to receive mid-life rebuilds. Two
baggage/food service cars (also leased) will be made ready for service. Service
is to begin on May 25, 2009.
This is the same start date as the Carolinian and the Palmetto. Training has
begun for engineers and conductors. When all upgrading is complete, the service
will have 8 coaches, 2 baggage/food service cars, a combine, and 3 locomotives.
The new trains (#75 & 76) will be in the Amtrak system and are expected to
leave Raleigh and Charlotte at 12:00
and 12:35 respectively.
Carolinian ridership is up 23%
over the past 3 months. A contract for a new platform at
has been let. Interior and exterior work at Durham
station is expected to be complete by March ’09. Work at
is expected to be complete by then as well. Work at
will only be exterior as there are not sufficient funds to do the inside at the
moment. A flagman is needed to control trains during construction. The Statesville
station has been purchased and will be available for Asheville
trains when service is initiated. Land has been bought for a station in Wilmington,
and land has also been bought in Ashville which contains a building that will
be rented until needed. Amtrak has agreement to increase staffing in Durham.
Cary will have one at a time (2
people working). Double
track High Point
being built. This will cure greatest delay point. Next is Lake
to Bowers between Thomasville and Lexington.
John Bobinyec – Preparation for High-Speed Rail will involve
straightening curves or in some places the laying of a new line. Old structures
will be used where possible. The new rail bill has $500 million for local
projects, and some of the money can be used to refund money used on past work. It
is important to remember, however, that this is only authorized money it still
has to be appropriated.
Bob Bischoff - The Charlotte
trolley is running on weekends, but CATS is not interested in weekday running
unless the trolley has been chartered. The Trolley
Museum on Camden
Road is to open in a few weeks. Only exhibits. The
North Carolina DOT, owners of the Piedmont & Northern Railroad, claim there
is business available on the line and plan to begin operating. Some local
residents object (NIMBY). If made operable, this might be a commuter rail line
Jim Frierson – A study is
being conducted in Charleston concerning
commuter rail to Moncks Corner and Summerville.
This is to be a pre-implementation study. Following a
similar study in Columbia
to determine the feasibility of three possible rail commuter links, a link to Camden
was selected as the most viable. As yet, no action has been taken. Another
study examined the feasibility of linking Myrtle Beach,
Florence, and Charleston
as part of a high-speed rail project. DOT in Columbia
has received the Volpe study of high-speed
rail in the upstate. The South Carolina Public Railways Commission is planning
a study of statewide passenger and freight needs. This is really an economic
development study. Completion is expected
in January 2009. Charleston is
planning a multi-modal center. The site has been selected, but no construction has
begun. Many studies; no action. (Items
in italics represent corrections by
Martin Wheeler – NCDOT has authorization to begin work on the
Charlotte Gateway Station Project. Greyhound will move so that a multi-model
center can be built at the site of its current depot. North corridor commuter rail
platform will be on west side. This could begin by 2010 or 2011.Lynx Blue line is
running ‘on-time’ 99% of the time. Some days it reaches 100%. On average it
carries 18,000 passengers per day. This is 10 years ahead of projections. The
non-compliance rate (riding without a ticket) is very low. The national average
is 3-4%. CATS average is under 1%. Extension of the Blue Line northeast to the
University is under consideration. . There may be 2 stations at UNCC since the University
wants the trains to come onto the campus. CATS might buy used rail cars from
the Houston system in order to
expand service and run 3-car trains. Additional service might be available by
2015. The north corridor will need to complete design of a maintenance center.
There also are grade crossings that should be eliminated. Charlotte
street cars are planned to be modern cars such as are used in Portland,
OR. The west corridor is supposed to get an
enhanced bus service program to be called the “Sprinter”.
Next meeting -
Columbia December 13. Jim will find a place.
|Adjourn - 3:45 PM