Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Exciting New Raleigh Union Station Project Moves Ahead

An exciting new rail station project is taking shape in Raleigh, NC.  The Union Stationproject will convert an old warehouse building into a new multimodal transportation center in downtown Raleigh.  Amtrak will be a key tenant, to be followed by developing commuter and light rail services.  The project looks like a classic example of using a high-quality transportation project as a lever for urban redevelopment.  (Raleigh has recently trailed Durham on the “hip and trendy” scale, but watch developments in Raleigh’s Warehouse District – which will get a real lift from Union Station.)
The Triangle area is poised for future transit oriented development as well as high-speed rail connections.  As the Raleigh News and Observer story mentions, a key component of success for North Carolina rail will actually be found in Virginia, where freight rail bottlenecks cause chronic delays in already slow-paced Amtrak schedules.  The highway congestion is so bad between Washington and Richmond that an improved train service could be very attractive to travelers.
This looks to be a very successful project, which also demonstrates that we’re still getting good results from stimulus funding!

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