FROM THE CAB - November 2021

By Martin Wheeler, President, CAPT

The $1.2 Trillion Infrastructure Bill recently passed by Congress is expected to funnel hundreds of the millions of dollars into Carolina s to improve rail and public transportation. 911 million dollars will be coming to North Carolina over 5 years, and 361 million dollars to South Carolina over the same period. In both states much of the money will be spent for projects already planned , and in the pipeline, but needing an infusion of money to get them going. The states will be working with regional and local planning authorities in the process.

In North Carolina, the money could help speed planning and eventual construction of the proposed Triangle area commuter rail project between Durham and Clayton east of Raleigh. Proposed commuter rail in the Charlotte area between Charlotte and Mooresville may benefit if an agreement can be made with Norfolk Southern on use of it’s line. Other projects include new inter-city rail passenger service long planned for Raleigh to Wilmington, and Asheville to Salisbury. In South Carolina, much of the public transportation money would be spent on bus service as there are few rail projects on the planning boards.

South Carolina and North Carolina may benefit from large amounts of money going directly to Amtrak which plans new routes and services across the country, some of which are proposed by 2035 and would be determined by a new created States Services Committee within Amtrak. Lines include restoring direct higher speed rail service between Richmond and Raleigh, and new service between Charlotte and Atlanta extending to Birmingham. Enhanced service is also proposed for the Silver Meteor and Silver Star which pass through the Carolinas. In total, Amtrak gets 66 billion dollars from the package.

Nine of 12 CAPT board of director spots and five officer positions will be filled during the upcoming annual meeting. Two-year terms for board positions end this month for the following individuals: Martin L. Wheeler, Jr.; Donald Yehle; Phil Astwood; Ralph Messera; Bill Cole; Jim Frierson, Gayle McCurry, and John Bobinyec.

Additionally, all five officer positions will be voted on in December. Officers who were elected to one-year terms a year ago are: Wheeler, president; David Robinson, NC vice president; Yehle, SC vice president; Astwood, secretary; and Messera, treasurer.

Three individuals – Robert Bischoff, Ed Locklin, and David Robinson – have one more year left on their two-year terms, which expire in November 2022. By-laws require 12 directors; there are presently only 11 directors serving the organization. Existing board members are eligible to reapply for an additional two-year term, which would end in November 2023.

Email if you’re interested in running for a two-year term to the board of directors of the Carolina Association for Passenger Trains. Current officers are board members who are elected annually to one-year terms of office.

THOMASVILLE RAIL CAM – The only live “rail cam” operating in North Carolina is in Thomasville. It’s at Mile Post (MP) 306 on the Norfolk Southern main line between High Point (MP 299) and Salisbury (MP 333). Two cameras operate, one pointing north to best view southbound Amtrak trains and the other pointing south to best view northbound Amtrak passenger trains.

Thomasville’s “Train and Railroad Live Stream Camera” may be viewed at the following web address:

Virtual Railfan operates the camera.

COMING NEXT MONTH – The December issue of From the Cab will look at rail activities as described in the January through November issues of this publication.