Light Rail: What works for Raleigh


Here is a Topic that I would Love to share with everyone here, Please try not to be too negative about this topic because it is the Future of Raleigh that I am Concern about and Only that. Since living here for 15 Years now, I have in my own opinion, Transit here in the Triangle and in Raleigh particular is by means Lacking, Yeah sure You renovated Moore Square and all BUT…does that Stop there. Many times I see and hear that Raleigh is fast growing and will continue to grow. And…dare I say this…Light Rail has in my view been giving a Bum rap and not enough commitment from City/State leaders to Push forward of this means of transportation. Yes…it will take a lot of study and careful planning, But for the past several years now…How much Study and planning does it take before any shovel hits the Dirt ? ( ??? ). As I said Before…Transit here is lacking, but improving and I hope that it Continues to Improve and upgrade to where we can move about the Triangle more efficiently and safely. Okay…now that I have got off my soapbox, here is a Question that I throw out to you all. Which means of Transportation would fit best for Raleigh and the Triangle Area… Light Rail or Monorail ? Now with Raleigh Union Station Now Completed, we should think about the possibility of having some form of Rail system. Now I’m not an expert nor do I call myself a know it all Just trying to get feedback from you Guys, and let’s be positive about any aspects of any kind or rail. thanks. :smile:


For much longer distances I think “Heavy Rail” but for shorter distances I am going to suggest…are you ready for it?
Don’t hate…subway!
Starting with the downtown area and expanded to include Cameron Village & (Apples new campus) at NC State ( centennial campus )?
Then going through Amazon’s campus to North Hills and back again to our awesome downtown! :heart:


Subway…??? In Raleigh. ??? not saying that it isn’t possible, BUT !!! I guess. Raleigh Just isn’t that Populated enough for a Subway, But I can be wrong.


Just Imagine now…Monorail stop at State Farmers market next stop…Centennial Campus…Mission Valley(NCSU)…onto Cary Towne Center. Etc…etc.


Monorail only makes sense if the entire line must be elevated. It’s very expensive and why you only see it in places like Hartsfield Airport and at Duke Hospital, where on ground tracking is impossible. It’s more of a question of light rail or regional rail here. Light rail is intended for frequent stops and on street situations. Regional Rail is fewer stops, high speeds and has more grade separations and required ROW. My answer is that the RTP area needs both of these in time. Probably regional rail first and eventually intra city light rail systems. The original TTA plan was sort of a split the difference approach with diesel light rail proposed at the time.


I have been firmly in the monorail camp for a very long time. I have been shot down many times, but here are my thoughts… 1) Can’t a lot of the sections of track (beams) and piers be precast offsite? Installation on site shouldn’t take too long if all the parts and pieces come in on flatbed trucks. (Just like parking decks…) Construction should be pretty quick compared to traditional rail, especially if you stick to the ROW/medians of existing roadways, or along utility right of ways (think major sewer/electrical/gas ROWs). It could be built in stages prioritizing the most heavily congested areas (IE Capital Blvd or I40 into JoCo and/or DRT to RDU) first and expanded to less traffic choked areas. 2) There is an intrinsic safety factor if you elevate the track so that pedestrians and/or vehicles don’t interact with the flow of trains (which seems to be a BIG issue with Amtrak over the past several years). 3) Though Raleigh isn’t exactly in the mountainous part of the state, some of the bigger hills could prove difficult for traditional or light rail. By elevating the rail system, you can mitigate some of those topographic challenges by riding right over them on a level track. 4) I was previously shot down with discussion of Honolulu’s monorail system. After a little research, yes, that system is crap. BUT IMO it is not a true monorail system. Mono (single) rail is just that. The Honolulu system is two sets of track (4 rails) which is elevated on a bridge structure throughout the entire system. This is NOT a monorail.


Subways are awesome, but if big, wealthy, dense cities like San Fran, New York and Boston have trouble paying for them, Raleigh doesn’t stand a chance.


I think that you have hit on a very important point. Raleigh specifically will require quite a few different modes of transportation to make it work for it’s different sections and demographics…
Maybe lightrail from RTP to downtown Raleigh, monorail to North Raleigh, Crabtree, Newbern ave…bus system throughout and heavy rail to all points further out? (Goldsboro, Charlotte, Norfolk V.A.) :blush:


Eh, it’s more of a Shelbyville idea.


Don’t rule out a more affordable solution like EcoPRT. In the article below (pay wall), they say “conversations with strategic partners are heating up.”


I think this is a cool idea, but IMO when you spread it across an area the size of a city vs a college campus… you are still going to end up with congestion (traffic) issues in popular destinations. Maybe I am wrong, but it is just a computer operated car on a track.


So far only at NC State, as yet unproven…


They been talking about this solution at NC State for years, just do it or get out of the way, taking them forever with this concept.
My goodness, DO SOMETHING.
Cannot believe this area, light rail should have connected the universities decades ago, so students do not have to drive to each downtown, and least cater to the students, connect all the universities and getcars off the roads on weekends, it’s a start that should have happened years ago!!!
Get off your you know what’s, shut up, stop talking and start the buildout (shouks have figured out funding years ago, go talk to companies in area that have millions).


Haven’t you read about the lawsuit against Complete 540 due to environmental impact and promotion of sprawl? Growth requires growing pains and I believe our region has exchanged one set of growing pains (big density promoting projects like light rail) for another (little opportunistic projects like suburban neighborhoods and associated sprawl/traffic/NIMBY)

In a way it boils down to lack of unified leadership across the diverse triangle area.


Agreed, it would have to be elevated to avoid traffic. I’d love to see it around North Hills to take some cars off Six Forks.


First, complete 540 now, some of these people are rediculous, save the slug, get out of the way of progress!
540 completion is required and needed, lawsuit, what a joke, people that have nothing better to do than be seen.
These are people that cannot get out of our own way!!
Second, elevate light rail, just do it.
Example: 15-20 yards of property down the middle of I95, for decades that interstate has been a nightmare, I drive it all the time, it’s a death trap, put light rail from Miami to NYC in that right is way, put the money toward this instead of save th slugs, and get people off the roads, shove trains and electric cars down the throats of the oil companies and put them out of business.m ($3.32/gal, and we are now the leading world producer of oil).
We have wasted decades not keeping up or even starting to implement what Europe and Asia have been doing for decades, it’s the best option as of today, no wu stinks asked.
Light rail should have been an option on East Coast years ago and 540 completion shouks have started yesterday, light rail should have been started in triangle decades ago, sick of the constant BS studies and conversations, just do something, it’s needed, cannot widen any more roads, it’s a waste of money and time!!!


Heavy commuter rail + overhead monorail or similar for DT and DT adjacent neighborhoods. Miami has the model that would work in Raleigh. The heavy rail connects MIA to DT Miami. The Metromover has three different loops that connect the heavy rail to all parts of DT Miami.


WDW_Monorail_2006 Here are Other examples that I think that Raleigh should Consider. Ideas anyway. Think of it…NCSU…DUKE…UNC. Connecting to the Triangle…RTP…RDU.


I love this option!
I am thinking it would be perfect for the long hauls, DTR to RTP, DTD, NH’s, etc…:sunglasses:


Exactly…maybe even to RDU to DTR…DTD…DTCH. maybe.