North Carolina 'Piedmonts' sell out $1 promotional trips

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North Carolina Department of Transportation Chief Deputy Secretary David Howard and Rail Division Director Jason Orthner shake hands in a photo taken at Raleigh’s Capital Yard on May 3, 2019, promoting the $1 Piedmont fare sale for trips Friday and Saturday. All trips are now sold out.
North Carolina Department of Transportation

RALEIGH, N. C. — North Carolina’s Rail Division personnel posed for a photo last Friday in front of appropriately numbered F59PHI 1869 and another ex-GO Transit graduate, cab control unit 101, to mimic the historic Golden Spike photo taken by A. J. Russell 150 years ago..

They used the photo to promote $1 fares on all Raleigh-Charlotte, N.C., Piedmont trains this Friday, May 10, and Saturday, May 11, using the Golden Spike’s 150th anniversary as a hook to get travelers along the route to sample the service.

“All Piedmonts on those two days are now sold out,” Rail Division Deputy Director Allan Paul tells Trains News Wire. “Each train will have a seating capacity of 300 passengers, so we will carry around 3,600 passengers.”

He adds, “Many of them will be first-time riders and lots of families. We hope they will have a good Piedmont experience and become repeat customers.”

Thanks in large part to a third round trip added last summer (in addition to the Charlotte-New York Carolinian), Piedmont patronage is up a whopping 33% from the first half of fiscal 2019 (through March) and ticket revenue has climbed 39%, by far the highest combined percentage gains of any state-supported Amtrak service.


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