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The MultiModal Station and North Rail Line

by David Carol

March 3,2004

The new Uptown Charlotte Multimodal Station is on the drawing board. Planning is underway to build an architecturally distinct station in Third Ward that will serve commuter rail, Amtrak, Greyhound, the Center City Street Car, Southeast/West corridor rapid transit and CATS local and express bus service. The station will be a landmark mass-transit hub in the center of Charlotte that will connect citizens throughout the region.

The station will be built between Graham Street and the rail line and between 4th Street and West Trade. The new station will likely sit where the old Southern Rail Road Depot once serviced Charlotte residents and visitors before being torn down in 1963.

CATS will work with world-class architects and with the community to develop a station that is highly functional and a tribute to Charlotte and the West End/Uptown areas.

The station is projected to cost around $50-$60 million to build. Design, development and operational costs will likely be divided among the N.C. DOT, CATS and the station’s occupants.

The new multimodal Station will ideally serve as a further investment catalyst for the area, leading to additional urban and residential development in the neighborhood.

The location of the station will make it a portal to a revitalized Third Ward, Gateway Plaza, the new Johnson & Wales University campus and to employment centers throughout the City.

Commuter rail from the Station will run from Uptown to Mooresville. Selected in November 2002 by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) as the Locally Preferred Alternative in the North Corridor, commuter rail service would operate from the Multimodal Station to Mooresville along the Norfolk Southern Railroad “O” line.

Served today by just one daily freight train, the Norfolk line will be rebuilt and designed for commuter train operations. The new service would provide frequent rush-hour service from Uptown to Mooresville in about 45 minutes. Approximately nine transit stations are planned that will also serve Davidson, Cornelius and Huntersville. Several North Mecklenburg towns are awaiting the new line to anchor planned mixed-use, Transit-Oriented Development.

Navigating the federal funding approval process will take time. The CATS North Corridor project team is working to streamline the process to save time and money. At a time when congestion on I-77 keeps growing and the region is facing severe air quality issues, the Multimodal Station and new rail service to and from Uptown Charlotte will offer efficient connections, an improved commute and an exciting new focus for the region.

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