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State aboard plan to bring rail to Port City

READ MORE: State aboard plan to bring rail to Port City
Planes, trains and automobiles, that's how we get from place to place. For the Port City, transportation is more than just getting around. It's part of what put our city on the map. Between the port and the railroad headquarters, Wilmington was much more of a cosmopolitan city than a lot of southern cities,” said Frank Funk of the Railroad Museum foundation board. The Atlantic Coast Line's national headquarters were here for more than a century. It began in 1840, when a company called Wilmington and Weldon railroad finished building its tracks. The company merged with Atlantic Coastline near the turn of the century. Along with the glamour of the dining car, the railroad brought visitors, development and wealth to Wilmington. But in 1960, that changed when Atlantic Coastline moved to Jacksonville, Florida, deeming Wilmington geographically illogical. The development of a direct railroad line from New York to the Sunshine State meant Wilmington was out of the way. Falling back on Wilmington's other thriving industry, its port, the city continued to grow. But when Atlantic Coastline pulled out, it took with it the passenger railroad. Now, the state has plans to revive what are now over grown rails, bringing back the passenger train, and make tracks once again. “There are a lot of things that can be done to make this a significant addition to the community and a significant economic development tool,” said Laura Padgett of the National Transportation Committee. A multi-modal transportation center is on the horizon. It'll be a place where folks can catch a train to Raleigh, in addition to cab and bus service. The state has already purchased the land between Third and Fourth streets for the center. City leaders hope the three million dollar project will open up commuting possibilities, and bring money through tourism. “People come visit here, there's a lot of vacations here and of course conventions that are coming here, so I think it’s an important initiative to connect our rail line to Raleigh as quickly as possible.” It may be three to four years before the project even begins. Two routes to Raleigh are being considered, one through Goldsboro and one through Fayetteville.

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I think it's a great idea.

I think it's a great idea. People from all over the state like to come here so why not give them all the options available. Trains are quite popular in northern cities...why not here.

This is a great idea!

I own stock in Wabtec. Other than that it's total nonsense! It makes the convention center look like a brilliant idea. No Raleigh resident is going to take a train to Wilmington for vacation, then spend a week or two having to take taxis or buses everywhere they want to go. They're going to DRIVE here and use their car to get around. No out-of-state conventioneers are going to say, "Hey, let's get off the plane in Raleigh and take the train to Wilmington!" Does anyone know of a passenger line in the country that is self sufficient and doesn't suck up millions in taxpayer dollars every year? Passenger rail went broke and vanished in this country for two reasons: Jet aircraft and the Interstate Highway System. To emphasize that point, remember that Amtrack has NEVER made a profit. Last time I looked, there's a pretty nice interstate at our doorstep that can get you to Raleigh in about two hours....and gas can rise to $5.00 a gallon before I'll park my car down in THAT part of town. If this is some phony-baloney jobs creation program, I shudder to think of the cost per job created....


Completely agree...who in the world is going to ride the train these days? HA. I wouldn't ride the train for anything. The only place this is a viable option is perhaps Europe or uber-large metro areas.

I would ride the train....

I would ride the train.... I used to take the train from my college to my girlfriends house in NJ all the time. It's cheaper than driving and a lot easier with less to worry about. When in DC, I use they rail system everywhere I go. Using the rail system would be a lot easier when heading out to watch Hurricanes hockey game. It would make traveling a lot easier if you are going to visit family or friends. I think it's a great idea

it's called

entitlement. Actually now we all know what the Governor was working on during her "working" vacation out of the country. Build the infrastucture; they will come. Perhaps they could locate the Air Force One center adjacent to the train station.


I think this is a wonderful idea.