While waiting for our turn to present we heard presentations dealing with rail logistics, the state rail plan update, and North Carolina's shortline railroads. Finally, it was the WNC Corridor Passenger Rail Committee's turn to present. Judy Ray spoke about the conception of the group and the work the organization has done over the past decade. This included 140 resolutions of support for passenger rail by North Carolina towns, municipalities, and organizations. Judy's presentation was followed by Lance Hight highlighting the redevelopment progress Conover has had in restoring their depot. Conover is a great success story as the town is converting an old factory into a community center and depot. Stephanie Monson and Brett McCall concluded the presentation by telling of Asheville's renewed enthusiasm surrounding passenger rail. This included the Asheville City Council's renewed resolution supporting passenger rail and Brett's Facebook fan page (The People for Rail to Asheville), which now has over a 1,000 fans! ...
The presentation was well received and Rep. Deborah Ross of Wake County followed with a question regarding the cost of bringing passenger rail to WNC. This was answered by Patrick Simmons of the Rail Division. He explained the corridor was estimated to cost $134 million or roughly $1 million per mile of track (much cheaper than highway). ...Read the full article