Matt, I have no statistics to back up the assumption that ridership would go down if Raleigh and Durham were to be combined into 1 stop. In my mind I find it very hard to conceive of the idea that people of Raleigh or Durham would not ride because the train didn't stop at their front door. The 2 cities already share an airport. I said before that I rode a TGV in France and in Paris there are 4 different train stations with each serving different destinations. I had to navigate from 1 station to another using the subway. I know we all could add comments but nothing would change because of politics or because some committee has taken ownership of the ideas that are most dear to them and that is the way the train will be routed. I wish that all the public meetings could really have an impact on the routing or design of any aspect of this whole thing.
I recently was told or read somewhere that the road bed for the high speed train would either have a 10' wall beside the track or the track would be laid 10' down in the ground. I did ride a TGV in France and in some cases there was a berm beside the road bed or we were in a swale. What will be done to protect the train and civilians in towns like Henderson? How much will environmental studies cost and implementation cost to use existing right of ways and alter them with these protective barriers? Either way that will cost a lot. Back to my original proposal, 1 station in "Morrisville" serving all the Triangle area would cut out at least 1 stop. There is an unused right of way from Durham to Creedmoor and north towards Oxford and Henderson. The bridge across the Neuse was demolished when Falls Lake was cleared. I know I don't have all the answers and probably never will. I have lots of questions that might make the person/s with the answers think.
Ok Orulz, I probably didn't make myself well understood. I added the comment to try to get anyone to start thinking differently.
The system I am envisioning is a pod hanging from a cable, a high speed disconnect. When the pods go through the stations they disconnect and move at a much slower speed, less than slow walking speed, giving the passenger time to hang a bicycle on the rack and get in the car/pod. The door closes automatically, then the car moves onto the cable and travels over the ground at about 35 miles per hour. The engineering for the infrastructure is pretty much large poles to hold the moving cable above any grounded objects. The poles could be in the median of existing divided roads or just off the road in the no mans land between the streets and sidewalk. I don't think there would be much of an environmental study needed for this application. I don't know the actual cost but would think these stations and cable systems could be placed all over the triangle cities and in between for less the the BILLION price tag just to get a subway/train system from Durant Rd. to Durham at Duke University.
As for the high speed train from Charlotte to DC I also have an opinion and lots of thoughts for that, starting with adding a new train station between Raleigh and Durham. That would cut out 1 stop. The train could leave the new station from, let's just say Morrisville and proceed as straight as possible to I-85 north of Durham and could run in the median. There is enough room for at least 2 sets of tracks in the median of I-85 all the way to it's terminus at I-95. I would run it to that point. That would be for the Virginia people to decide it's route from there. Placing the train right of way between the north and south bound lanes of an existing interstate would cut down significantly in the need for environmental studies and condemnation of land. Most of the bridges in Virginia already have enough clearance for the train to go under them just as they are. Some would have to be replaced. What do you think?
I think we are only exploring the ideas that have been around for over 100 years. I think we should explore an idea that is not as expensive as tunneling, not as inconvenient as closing street crossings and not as expensive to build as trains and right of ways. Or is it rights of way? I snow ski a lot. I have ridden in enclosed lifts that are made for 2 or 4 people, hold skis on the outside, have an environment system and an entertainment system in side. The ski racks can be changed for bicycle racks. Forget the snow. Think of people movers such as Epcot Center or Disney World all over Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill/Carrboro and points in between, taking over an hour to ride from Durant Rd to RTP and costing $2 or $3 each way. For much less than the cost of building a subway system from nowhere around Durant Rd, to downtown, to Cary, Morrisville, RTP, to Durham and or Chapel Hill we could install people mover all over all these areas. If the current paths (routes) are used the environmental impact studies would be minimum. We need to start think inside a different box.
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