Likewise, a 25-year state rail plan unveiled in 2015 shows potential lines from Asheville to existing passenger rail service via Salisbury and Wilmington via Selma and Raleigh. Winston-Salem would keep its Amtrak Connector bus service through the Piedmont Authority for Regional Transportation, with potential extensions – but no train – to Wilkesboro, Boone and Statesville.
Amtrak and the state Department of Transportation aren’t the only parts of the equation: Norfolk Southern owns the rail line to Winston-Salem and would have to approve a passenger train clearance to use it.
“They indicated a few years ago that they did not want to share the existing freight line with passenger rail,” said Pat Ivey, division engineer for the North Carolina Department of Transportation. âThere would need to be a new lane for passenger traffic if Norfolk Southern’s position did not change. “
Council member DD Adams said passenger rail is vital to the city’s economic future.
Just as the city lobbied to put in place the ring road that is currently being built around northern Winston-Salem, she said, the city must take advantage of new federal funding to secure money for passenger rail service here.
Adams cited the expansion of business in the Triangle and neighboring counties of Guilford and Randolph.