North Carolina debuts additional 'Piedmont' round trip

RELATED TOPICS: PASSENGER | AMTRAK | SOUTHEAST
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Piedmont_Christening_Johnston
Graphic designer Ellen Holding christens the most recent North Carolina train to debut, midday Piedmont No. 75, at Raleigh, N.C., on June 5, 2010. Holding designed the NC locomotives’ “star” logo. Another Piedmont begins service today.
Bob Johnston
Piedmont_Sked
The revised Piedmont schedule.

RALEIGH, N.C.—Starting today, passengers traveling on the Piedmont corridor from Raleigh to Charlotte, N.C. will have more trains to choose from, as the North Carolina Dept. of Transportation and Amtrak add another round trip. With three Piedmont trains and the Carolinian, there will now be four round trips between the two cities.

Previously, Piedmonts departed Raleigh at 6:45 a.m., 11:45 a.m., and Charlotte at 12 noon and 5:15 p.m., augmenting through service to and from New York provided by the Carolinian. That train’s schedule remains unchanged, but the new round-trip enables frequencies on the nine-station route to be spread out at shorter intervals (see the new timetable at right).

A continuing issue, to which the new schedule will at least provide an alternative, has been tardiness of southbound train no. 79 on its 531-mile trip from the Big Apple. Most of the delays occur on CSX Transportation-owned tracks south of Washington, D.C. The train was over an hour late on both Friday, June 1, and Sunday, June 3. The schedule also allows a later northbound departure from Charlotte, North Carolina’s largest city.

Although the trains wll debut today, official christening ceremonies with North Carolina Department of Transportation officials will be Tuesday at Raleigh’s Capital Yard at 2 p.m., and at the Charlotte Amtrak station at 6:30 p.m.

While the new Raleigh Union Station was dedicated at the end of April, the date for trains to switch from the current facility has been pushed back several weeks to at least the last week in June because the city is finishing a storm water improvement project and some platform work remains.   

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