Will Belmont rail become a trail?

May 8, 2010 | Posted by: roboblogger | Full story: The Gaston Gazette

The future of a segment of railroad tracks through Belmont will likely be a commuter train that carries residents to and from neighboring Mecklenburg County.

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WatchinBelmont

Rockingham, NC

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#1
May 8, 2010
 

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NO commuter trains in Belmont, please. The trail is fine but how do they get across Main st. and Wilkinson? Go over or under? Hey maybe the infamous " tunnel" will be after all! LOL.

“.”

Since: Aug 08

Belmont, NC

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#2
May 8, 2010
 

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YES, commuter rail! This would be a great thing for Belmont and Gaston Co to have a light rail link to Charlotte!
If they *were* to do a walking trail, they'd obviously have to build some sort of pedestrian bridge over Wilkinson...
WatchinBelmont

Rockingham, NC

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#3
May 8, 2010
 

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I think the line to Charlotte is different from the one that runs to the Abbey and Mt. Holly. That line would be a disaster. I'm not against a commuter line on the existing downtown line per se- but one thing stops it - MONEY!

Again - it is not possible to expend one dime of tax money on ANY rail or trail right now - not with schools cutting back and infrastructure like it is.
WatchinBelmont

Rockingham, NC

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May 8, 2010
 

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And , you think the rail to CLT would good, huh? Maybe the thug who hit the banker in the head the other day would like to bring his business to Garibaldi?Wonder if he had a paid-for ticket in his possession? most people on it DON'T.

Since: May 09

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#5
May 8, 2010
 

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This link shows a diesel powered commuter rail train. This is not light rail which is electrically powered and cannot share track with freight trains. This could possibly make sense for rail service between Gaston and Mecklenburg Counties. Light rail is far too expensive. http://www.youtube.com/watch...
WatchinBelmont

Rockingham, NC

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May 8, 2010
 

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1. Cost of diesel fuel operation? You could never a charge a fare that would pay for it.
2. Diesel exhaust spewing out into our already bad air? No thanks.
WatchinBelmont

Rockingham, NC

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May 8, 2010
 

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OK- I watched the vid- I have to say it looks quite interesting.
Needing some exercise

United States

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May 8, 2010
 

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A rail trail is a great idea for the short term. First of all it doesn't cost the taxpayers anything, unlike the very costly option of commuter service as the rails have to be relaid and crossing guards are very expensive. I'm not even sold on the actual demand for commuter service as we still live in a "Surburban & Hummer" mentality of a town.

About crossing Wilkenson... I think they have a overhead pedistrian crossing near Ashley Arms on Garrisson? This is easy Federal Grant money to get especially in the age of stimilus money. It would cost no more than the train crossing guards and would be much kinder and easier on traffic congestion than a train crossing 74 at rush hour.

I dont' think the train makes sense from a financial standpoint. The restoration and upfitting is too costly when the existing CSX tracks into CLT could be used for the same exact purpose at no added cost.

It's time to be sensible and quit day dreaming about this town being the next Davidson cause were a good 20 years from that. In the mean time let's get out and enjoy a walk on a rail trail!

Since: May 09

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May 8, 2010
 

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Needing some exercise wrote:
A rail trail is a great idea for the short term. First of all it doesn't cost the taxpayers anything, unlike the very costly option of commuter service as the rails have to be relaid and crossing guards are very expensive. I'm not even sold on the actual demand for commuter service as we still live in a "Surburban & Hummer" mentality of a town.
About crossing Wilkenson... I think they have a overhead pedistrian crossing near Ashley Arms on Garrisson? This is easy Federal Grant money to get especially in the age of stimilus money. It would cost no more than the train crossing guards and would be much kinder and easier on traffic congestion than a train crossing 74 at rush hour.
I dont' think the train makes sense from a financial standpoint. The restoration and upfitting is too costly when the existing CSX tracks into CLT could be used for the same exact purpose at no added cost.
It's time to be sensible and quit day dreaming about this town being the next Davidson cause were a good 20 years from that. In the mean time let's get out and enjoy a walk on a rail trail!
A trail would require that DOT abandon the Belmont spur. That isn't going to happen.
Needing some exercise

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#10
May 9, 2010
 
Robert Stowe wrote:
<quoted text>A trail would require that DOT abandon the Belmont spur. That isn't going to happen.
Why not, they've abandoned it for the past 50 years?
WatchinBelmont

Rockingham, NC

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May 9, 2010
 

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Even though the video looks cools - it is STILL a fact that commuter trains are not cost effective for tax payers. They do NOT ease traffic congestion. You can never charge enough in fares to cover even a fraction of the cost because even FULL they still serve only a small percentage of commuters. Nice idea - fun- chic- but not practical. Simply put - we don't NEED it. We need to fix our road problems and move on.
IntheKnow

Rockingham, NC

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May 9, 2010
 

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Needing some exercise wrote:
A rail trail is a great idea for the short term. First of all it doesn't cost the taxpayers anything, unlike the very costly option of commuter service as the rails have to be relaid and crossing guards are very expensive. I'm not even sold on the actual demand for commuter service as we still live in a "Surburban & Hummer" mentality of a town.
About crossing Wilkenson... I think they have a overhead pedistrian crossing near Ashley Arms on Garrisson? This is easy Federal Grant money to get especially in the age of stimilus money. It would cost no more than the train crossing guards and would be much kinder and easier on traffic congestion than a train crossing 74 at rush hour.
I dont' think the train makes sense from a financial standpoint. The restoration and upfitting is too costly when the existing CSX tracks into CLT could be used for the same exact purpose at no added cost.
It's time to be sensible and quit day dreaming about this town being the next Davidson cause were a good 20 years from that. In the mean time let's get out and enjoy a walk on a rail trail!
The overhead crossing was a part of Ashley High School. Students walked from the main building across to the offices across Garrison. When they turned it into Ashley Arms, they closed it off. The residents use the over street bridge for socializing and grilling out. It is not public.

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May 9, 2010
 

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Needing some exercise wrote:
<quoted text>
Why not, they've abandoned it for the past 50 years?
Abandon is a legal term which allows the right-of-way to revert to the original property owners. The line is inactive not abandoned.
fred

Rockingham, NC

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#14
May 9, 2010
 

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Hell, I'd be happy with a later express bus from Belmont to CLT. The last one leaves B at 7:35 AM, no way I can make that as I can't drop the girls off at school early enough to make that time.

Choo-choo would be nice, but I'm against it because of the cost. And the fares would not be priced to pay for it, so it becomes a tax burden for all residents regardless of their use.
Needing some exercise

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Robert Stowe wrote:
<quoted text>Abandon is a legal term which allows the right-of-way to revert to the original property owners. The line is inactive not abandoned.
Rails to trails actually protects those right of ways, which according to this article are in question anyway. There seems to a misconception here that once you have a trail you can't ever go back to active rail. To be clear, you can. Check it out, don't take my word.

Your idea would work fine on the existing active CSX tracks going into Charlotte. It would involve the City negociating with CSX. The question is would anyone ride it?

www.railstotrails.org
life is a hi way

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#16
May 9, 2010
 

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WB is correct. The roadways are still the best and most economic way to move people....and will be through our lifetimes and well into the future. Rail works well for freight and inner city transport. As for this area, it is still not developed enough to justify light rail. And with Robert's point, it seems unlikely that the rail will be used as a trail.

SIDENOTE:

There has been chatter about a pedestrian bridge in Mt. Holly across the Catawba near the River Front Development.
It's been dubbed "the bridge to nowhere".

Since: May 09

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May 9, 2010
 

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Needing some exercise wrote:
<quoted text>
Rails to trails actually protects those right of ways, which according to this article are in question anyway. There seems to a misconception here that once you have a trail you can't ever go back to active rail. To be clear, you can. Check it out, don't take my word.
Your idea would work fine on the existing active CSX tracks going into Charlotte. It would involve the City negociating with CSX. The question is would anyone ride it?
www.railstotrails.org
Those rights-of-way were granted for use as a railroad. The owners would have to grant permission for other uses. I doubt that the folks on Circle Drive would grant that permission for security reasons.
Needing some exercise

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May 9, 2010
 

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Robert Stowe wrote:
<quoted text>Those rights-of-way were granted for use as a railroad. The owners would have to grant permission for other uses. I doubt that the folks on Circle Drive would grant that permission for security reasons.
Security reasons? Haven't you seen the scary people already walking the tracks? Would it be less secure if families with children were back there enjoying the day? I getting the feeling you may not be in touch in with the average citizen. Not all of us can afford the YMCA, much less have it named after our ourselves. No offense, but why can't you just support an idea that would benefit the community at virtually not cost to the tax payer? It is for the common good, unlike the current abandoned track, unlike a freight train, and unlike boxcar storage.

To put light rail on that track would be a colossal waste of money for these reasons:

1. We already have active tracks going to Charlotte that could be used with a little negociating.
2. The cost to fix up these tracks is estimated at 6+ million dollars, not including the track crossings.
3. Only a handful of people would benefit from it. There is no demand for this service. This is would be a huge waste of money.

Seems like common sense stuff to me.

Since: Mar 09

Belmont

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#19
May 9, 2010
 

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watch for a trolley to be operating on the tracks in the near future.

Since: May 09

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May 10, 2010
 

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Needing some exercise wrote:
<quoted text>
Security reasons? Haven't you seen the scary people already walking the tracks? Would it be less secure if families with children were back there enjoying the day? I getting the feeling you may not be in touch in with the average citizen. Not all of us can afford the YMCA, much less have it named after our ourselves. No offense, but why can't you just support an idea that would benefit the community at virtually not cost to the tax payer? It is for the common good, unlike the current abandoned track, unlike a freight train, and unlike boxcar storage.
To put light rail on that track would be a colossal waste of money for these reasons:
1. We already have active tracks going to Charlotte that could be used with a little negociating.
2. The cost to fix up these tracks is estimated at 6+ million dollars, not including the track crossings.
3. Only a handful of people would benefit from it. There is no demand for this service. This is would be a huge waste of money.
Seems like common sense stuff to me.
I didn't say that I opposed the idea. That Belmont right-of-way was granted voluntarily and without cost by the mill owners that owned that land specifically for use as a railroad because it gave the mills a choice of two shippers, the P&N and the Southern Railway. Don't you think the present landowners would like to have that land back instead having a constant stream of people going by their backyards?

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