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New Option for Southeast High Speed Rail

posted Sep 12, 2011, 10:03 AM by Shane Trahan   [ updated Sep 17, 2011, 11:34 AM by Reid Serozi ]

A new option for High Speed rail has just come to light.   We have been expecting a revision to come out and the new plan can be viewed by navigating to http://www.sehsr.org/pdf/NC5_RaleighPUM.pdf. This is a big file so be prepared. 

Previous proposed routes run along both sides of Capital Blvd and the biggest change is a bridge close to the Wade Avenue exit that crosses from CSX to Norfolk Southern.  The impact on Mordecai is that the trains would come right next to our neighborhood.   As many of you recall, Five Points and Norfolk Southern were very adamant that the rail going through their side of Capital Blvd would degrade property values, create pollution and the vibration could potentially damage homes. 

Mordecai did provide comment stating that we support the rail and that we had similar concerns should the rail be routed through Mordecai.  Public comments are being accepted and there will be a chance to voice concerns on Tuesday September 27 from 4 to 7 pm at the Raleigh Convention Center

Stay tuned!!!

What's New?

9/17/2011 - Passenger Rail Task Force meets Monday, September 19, at 10:00 AM (until noon) in the City Council Chambers. Our first item of business at Monday’s meeting will be to receive an update from a member of NCDOT-Rail Division’s Southeast High Speed Rail project team regarding the SEHSR alternative NC5.


Media Resources

Raleigh High Speed Rail Status Update

posted Jan 17, 2011, 7:25 PM by Reid Serozi

Shane Trahan, Railroad CAC Chair, contacted the NCDOT Rail Division regarding the progress of the High Speed Rail decision and as of yet they are still evaluating the alternatives. The expected recommendations were expected late 2010 early 2011 but they are still going through comments and data to come with a completed recommendation report. This will likely be released by spring. In addition to this, it looks like the State has been working feverishly to firm up the Charlotte/Raleigh route which has backing from Washington but the Raleigh to Richmond route has yet to win approval from the Obama administration.

Please take some time to read the following.


Mordecai CAC High Speed Rail Letter of Position

posted Aug 30, 2010, 9:10 AM by Reid Serozi   [ updated Sep 10, 2010, 7:21 AM ]

Your feedback

Please take five minutes to review some assumptions, facts and then take a quick survey

Your feedback and concerns are welcome. Contact Shane via email railroad@mordecaicac.org

Letter of Position

The following position of statement will be voted on at the September Meeting.

The Tier II Draft Environmental Impact Statement presented before the Raleigh community provides insight into a highly ambitious goal by providing high speed rail through the community of Mordecai and our region thereby providing a vital link to points south and north of the Raleigh metropolitan area.  Much of the debate in the past few months involve the routing of the train through downtown Raleigh and the potential impact this route will have on those residents.   Along with others in Wake County and the Raleigh metro area the Mordecai CAC supports the continued development of our area.  Such development should adequately reflect the full economic opportunity of our region and also foster smart growth now and in the future.  The two alternatives that have been put forth for the route of the high speed rail have been evaluated by the Passenger Rail Task Force and their recommendation is the Norfolk Southern Route would be the best route subject to specific conditions.  The NC3 option does coincide more directly with the 2030 Comprehensive plan, does not call for elevated bridge over the Glenwood South District and also allows for more efficient transportation needs of the planned Union Depot station. These developments are forward looking and will help to boost growth in the downtown region. 

However, the residents on the Norfolk Southern side of Capital Boulevard oppose this idea and have been very vocal about their concerns for routing the High Speed Rail through their community.  We wish to let it be known to all concerned that  the residents of the Mordecai CAC have similar concerns and feel that the same type of items need to be addressed should the rail go through the CSX side of the proposed route.  Our community firmly believes in supporting our neighbors and those in opposition to the NC3 while maintaining that our own concerns are also relevant to the NC1 and NC2 options. The Mordecai CAC as a community wants our elected officials to closely scrutinize any recommendations that are made and we highly recommend that our leaders keep in mind the following:

  • Impact to existing neighborhoods should be minimized. Installation of sound abatement walls, pollution minimization controls, and or other such measures should be taken so as to limit this impact.  These measures should be fully considered, planned in detail, and discussed with all concerned before any plan is finalized.
  • Property values should be protected and any degradation to quality of life in and around the affected areas should be kept to an absolute minimum. (Property devaluation can be aggravated by pollution including noise and light etc. and every effort needs to be made to minimize such impacts.)
  • Connectivity is a concern and efforts should be made to maintain the connectivity, not only between neighborhoods, but also between businesses and their customers.
  • Proper and thorough cost benefit analysis should be done on the areas affected by the proposed routes.  We must ensure that due diligence has been done on any decision made and that efforts are made to create a win/win situation for all.
  • All economic benefits envisioned by this project must be considered in light of the long term economic impacts to the areas involved. (Here we are referring specifically to jobs and the future of downtown’s growth.)
  • Ensure that the transit needs of the community as a whole have been addressed and that the proposals put before the city council can be funded and that there is adequate ridership within our region.
In conclusion, our community expects that the council will determine the proper course of action for high speed rail and that every effort will be made to compensate those whose homes or businesses must be relocated at a fair value.  We do look forward to this project in that it will move Raleigh into the future; however we want our civic leaders to adequately address concerns that have been expressed by all residents and businesses that are impacted.. We also expect that our leaders will take this opportunity to expand our local economy by fully evaluating the impacts of the high speed rail and its future to our area.

Learn More


  • North Carolina, Virginia and the Federal Railroad Administration announce the completion of a draft environmental statement (DEIS) that is a key step toward implementing high speed rail service in the two states and the Southeast.
  • Five-Points / NC3 Resource. Information about the High Speed Rail and the options for where to located it have been scarce. We’ve pulled together information and posted it here so you can find it all in one place.

In the Media

  • "Anybody in Raleigh FOR high-speed rail?" August 27th
  • "High-speed rail hearing tonight: "Alt. NC1/NC2" route gaining?"
  • "A state Department of Transportation rail engineer has given a negative review to a proposed five-block flyover that would lift fast trains above Capital Boulevard in order to steer clear of the Five Points neighborhood." August 31st
  • "Fears in Five Points... The Five Points Citizens Advisory Council voted 81-0 Thursday night to condemn a proposal that would route new passenger trains through the Norfolk Southern freight yard between Capital Boulevard and the Five Points area." August 31st 
  • "Speakers at a packed public hearing Tuesday night criticized the state Department of Transportation’s ideas for routing high-speed passenger trains through downtown, and they urged the City Council to call for more study"

Five Points rail route favored

posted Aug 4, 2010, 5:12 AM by Shane Trahan   [ updated Aug 4, 2010, 5:26 AM ]

Today's N&O has indicated that the task force and other city staff have indicated to city council that they favor the Norfolk Southern Route. Council has not voted yet and have scheduled a public hearing on August 31to hear from residents, businesses and other concerned citizens.  Shane Trahan will likely attend this meeting and will draft up a letter to read before council. A draft letter will be sent out to the group and although we do not have a CAC meeting to approve a statement of position it is important that council and the Five Points community know that we do support Rail and want the impact to be minimal. Please let Shane know if you have any thoughts on this matter. 

The N&O story can be found at http://www.newsobserver.com/2010/08/04/613008/five-points-rail-route-favored.html
News 14 Story http://charlotte.news14.com/content/local_news/triangle/628855/high-speed-rail-plans-presented-to-raleigh-council
Raleigh Website Release http://www.raleigh-nc.org/home/content/PubAffairs/Articles/PassengerRailTaskForce.html

Passenger Rail Task Force Concensus Reached!!

posted Jul 29, 2010, 12:03 PM by Shane Trahan

The Raleigh Passenger Rail Task Force has recommended that the City Council should use the Norfolk Southern Route for the Southeast High Speed Rail Corridor. This doesn't mean that the council will vote this way but it is recommended that they go this way. Once more information is available I will let everyone know

Southeast High Speed Rail Project - Public Hearing Summary

posted Jul 26, 2010, 7:27 PM by Reid Serozi   [ updated Jul 29, 2010, 12:02 PM by Shane Trahan ]

There were a handful of Mordecai Residents at the CAC meeting and we were able to listen to some of the things that were being said. A majority of the comments could be expected such opposition to the rail coming through Five Points by those residents and others simply opposing the idea outright. The best thing about the public hearing was the open house which immediately preceded the public hearing. We were able to ask questions directly to the people involved and get needed information directly from the source.

We found out the following:

1. Should the train go through the CSX yard there is ample right of way through the Mordecai CAC so as not to warrant any eminent domain actions being taken.

2. The frequency of trains are at least two a day. One heading south, another north each day. This would increase according to demand of the rail.

3. CSX still has not released any official statement however a representative of CSX has been contacted and once more information is known, we will be the first to know.

4. There is currently planned to be noise barrier walls along the rail path extending from the Mulberry/Marshall Street intersection to somewhere close to Wake Forest road.

5. The passenger rail should not have an impact on the amount of freight moving through the neighborhood. CSX generates revenue from the freight moving through the yard, not passengers so it is in their best interest to protect this revenue stream.

6. Costs associated with the Norfolk Southern route will be more expensive but is supposed to grant more options for the proposed Raleigh Union Station which is still in the design phase.

7. The Passenger Rail Task Force will report recommendations to Raleigh City Council on or about August 3rd. The Co-Chair of this task force has been contacted to let us know what their decision is.

The timeline for rail is estimated to be as follows:
    2012 - Funding Secured
    2013 - Construction Begins
    2017-2018 - Trains start rolling

Overall, the high speed rail should be seen as progress for our area and there have been many studies done to evaluate the impact this will have in our communities. The initial plan was to go through Mordecai via CSX so the possible change in course is a new twist to this.  Lets hope that the best decision is made according to sound economic, environmental and fiscal decisions.

For those interested there has been much said in the paper lately

Tracks Might Divide Raleigh - Published Jun 4th
Q&A on Mass Transit with Thomas Crowder - Published Jun 16th
High Speed Rail Hearings Start Next Week - Published Jul 7th
Railroad to fete Five Points Folk - Published Jul 21st
Hearings Are Held - Published Jul 23rd
Landowners Learn More About Rail - Published Jul 27th
Pro's Con's to High Speed Rail - Video Published Jul 29th

To view a map of our immediate area please click here. The file is about 4MB and is quite detailed.

The Passenger Rail Task Force recently came to a consensus indicating that the recommended route be the Norfolk Southern Route with conditions. Those conditions include but not limited to agreeing on such closures of certain roads with the expectations that other connectivity be created. ie Close one road, open another.

Comments are being accepted for this Southeast High Speed Rail Corridor plan until August 30th. Please refer to the Southeast High Speed Rail Corridor website at http://www.sehsr.org/deis/deis.html for information on how to comment or drop me a note and I will make sure that your comments are heard. - Shane Trahan

From Josh B. on Courtland in the Mordecai Neighborhood.

"...I was there and listened to every last speaker. Using the NS route could impact a soybean processing plant in Raleigh and a perishable foods company in Garner. A couple advocates promoted high speed rail
to Hampton Roads/Norfolk/VA Beach. A Five-Points woman became emotional over the closing of the Fairview road crossing if the NS route was chosen. A conductor explained that in two years, the
railways would be going 90mph "high speed" anyway as a result of
mandatory safety technology all trains will be required to have and
that using the existing, curvy rail right of way was not conducive to
true high-speed rail. Several reflected this sentiment about 110mph
not really being high-speed rail. One fellow suggested that the NS
and CSX lines be consolidated. Another suggested that if there was a
need for high speed rail, Capitalism would have made it happen. The
most common concerns were about how the crossings will be handled

As for direct impact on our neighborhood, about the only thing I have identified is that we'd get a security fence between our neighborhood
and the rails if the CSX route is selected and we may also get some
noise controls may be installed. I also learned that whichever route
is selected, the high-speed will co-exist with the existing freight

Downtown Raleigh Map - CSX rail route near Mordecai

Downtown Raleigh Map - CSX rail route near Mordecai
Philip Poe, Five Points CAC Chair, and Reid Serozi, Mordecai CAC, ride the R Line to the Public Hearing
Mordecai CAC Railroad Chair, Shane Trahan  Public Open House Public Open House


Southeast High Speed Rail Project - Get the facts!

posted Jul 26, 2010, 6:49 PM by Reid Serozi   [ updated Jul 29, 2010, 12:12 PM by Shane Trahan ]

From Shane Trahan, CAC RailRoad Committee Chair

There are proposals on the table indicating that the High speed Rail should be routed through the CSX/Mordecai side or the Norfolk Southern/Five Points side of Capital Boulevard. The initial plans for the high speed rail had the train going by our neighborhood however at the DOT's request an impact study was done to run these items through the other side of Capital. Norfolk Southern has been working hard with the communities on their side of Capital to keep the high speed rail out of their yard and is trying to gather community support. CSX, has been rather quiet and hasn't said much to bolster their view of this plan and I did talk with a representative about this issue. CSX is still evaluating the proposal and has no official position yet. When they do, they are going to contact us and the N&O to let everyone know what they think. the Mordecai Community has worked with CSX before and they have been accommodating to the best of their ability, there is always room for improvement however we have a good communication channel with them at this point so hopefully we hear from them soon.

So here are some facts for everyone to consider.
  1. Any freight business CSX or Norfolk Southern will not want passenger rail interrupting their freight operations. Neither of them will let this happen without a fight. So whether it is on the east or west side, it doesn't freight will probably still move through these rail yards.
  2. The city of Raleigh is looking to build a "Central Station" in downtown so these plans may affect the route taken from the high speed rail
  3. Money HAS NOT BEEN ALLOCATED to do this work. Everyone is going under the assumption that it will be.
  4. Either route will have an impact on us.
  5. Public Comment will be accepted until August 30th 2010
  6. A Passenger Rail Task Force has been established to advise City Council on which route should be used. Their recommendation is to be sent to council by August 3rd 2010.
  7. The Passenger Rail Task Force will be meeting this coming Thursday to draft and finalize their recommendation to council
  8. The Downtown Living Advocacy Group (http://www.raleighdla.com/) currently supports the Norfolk Southern Route
  9. City officials are for the Norfolk Southern Route (http://www.newsobserver.com/2010/06/04/514230/tracks-might-divide-raleigh.html)
  10. You can download a map of our area by clicking here (caution! large file)
  11. Lastly, there is a public hearing tonight at the Convention Center. Public hearings will be held from 7-9 and an open house from 5 to 7pm
The Mordecai CAC as of yet doesn't have an official position on the routing of the High Speed Rail. It has been assumed for quite some
time that it was coming on our side of the tracks so this change is a new twist on this topic. I will be attending the open house and
hearing tonight and I strongly encourage those that are interested to attend as well.

Comments on the rail project can be sent the following ways.

Email the Co- Chairs of the Passenger Rail Task Force who will be advising City Council (send before Thursday) William Anderson Allen, III-Co-Chair will@allenheuer.com Maha Chambliss, PE-Co-Chair mchambliss@ch-engr.com

Send items directly to the SEHSR http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SEHSR

Attend the Public Hearing tonight from 7-9 PM at the Raleigh Convention Center

More information can be obtained from http://www.sehsr.org/deis/deis.html

Transflow Capacity Increase at CSX Rail Yard

posted Jul 26, 2010, 6:47 PM by Reid Serozi   [ updated Jul 29, 2010, 12:24 PM by Shane Trahan ]

Transflow is a company that transfers commodities from rail cars to trucks for transport to facilities that do not have the capacity on
site to handle such a transfer. The company is requesting to add additional spots to offload items within the CSX yard and the N&O mis-
represented this as "doubling" the amount of freight in the yard. This is not the case. There is going to be an increase of spaces allocated
to the transflow operation. The impact on our neighborhood could be a potential increase in the amount of freight that is handled by Transflo to the CSX yard which could range from Lumber, Cooking Oil, to anything that can be transported via Rail.

The map below indicates where Transflo operations are as well as the estimated area of where expansion could be.

View Transflo Location in a larger map

High Speed Rail - Public Hearing (reminder!)

posted Jul 25, 2010, 6:32 PM by Reid Serozi   [ updated Jul 26, 2010, 4:46 AM ]

A public hearing is set for Monday, and public comment will be accepted through August on the draft environmental impact statement
for the Raleigh-to-Richmond portion of the Southeast High Speed Rail Corridor.

July 26th at Raleigh Convention Center, 500 S. Salisbury St.

Open house starts at 5 p.m., followed by a formal hearing at 7 p.m.

If you plan to attend the formal hearing and provide comments, please touch base with Shane Trahan. 
railroad@mordecaicac.org / (919) 295-0135

On Saturday, a few of us from the Mordecai CAC decided to check out the community fair at Norfolk Southern Railway. There was plenty of food and activities for the kids. I thought the event was well done with plenty of time to ask Q&A for the local residents. 

High Speed Rail - Public Hearing

posted Jul 20, 2010, 9:34 PM by Reid Serozi   [ updated Jul 22, 2010, 7:46 PM ]

The News & Observer has reported several story's about the proposed HighSpeed Rail route and how it may impact our neighborhoods / downtown.

Your Mordecai Citizens Advisory Council recommends you become aware of the proposed routes for the high speed rail and have the opportunity to provide feedback.




For more information and provide feedback about railroad issues,
please contact Shane Trahan - CAC Railroad Committee Lead.

A public hearing is set for next week, and public comment will be
accepted through August on the draft environmental impact statement
for the Raleigh-to-Richmond portion of the Southeast High Speed Rail

July 26th at Raleigh Convention Center, 500 S. Salisbury St.

Open house starts at 5 p.m., followed by a formal hearing at 7 p.m.

If you plan to attend the formal hearing and provide comments, please touch base with Shane Trahan.

Shane's contact email: railroad@mordecaicac.org / (919) 295-0135

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