$461 million project will speed train trip to Raleigh by 13 minu - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

  • $461 million in federal grants will improve train service between Raleigh and Charlotte. Given our current federal deficit is this a good use of money?

  • Thank you for participating in our poll. Here are the results so far:

    Yes, many jobs will be created and this will test new rail technology.
    3%
    318 votes
    No, it’s too much money to only speed up the trip by 13 minutes.
    96%
    8602 votes
    I’m not sure, but at least it is federal money – not state money.
    1%
    58 votes
  • Read a story about the rail improvements

$461 million project will speed train trip to Raleigh by 13 minutes

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The latest: State Republicans want vote to reject federal money for rail plan

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.

The latest: State Republicans want vote to reject federal money for rail plan

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

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