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Old 11-01-2018, 03:39 PM
 
5,802 posts, read 8,890,076 times
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Wow.. I stopped by the Hardees on Fairfield Road near I-20.. That node has become a hot mess for all types of nuisance activity but no one lives there to complain.. You have a not tell motel, truck stop, gas station and the greyhound bus station all within a close proximity to one another.. There is all types of subtle, not overt, activity going on between the truck stop and the motel and visa versa... As I ride down Fairfield..there are always these Bill Bixby flannel shirt-drifter types carrying a 1980s army ruck sack trekking up and down apparently trying to get from the Greyhound Bus Station to/from downtown while keeping an eye out for the Comet Bus to be able to jump on board.


It underscores how Columbia is pushing a lot of what may be considered undesirable activity to the fringe of the City.. far North Main, Fairfield, Monticello Rd, St Andrews, Bluff Road, Decker/Percival...It will be interesting to see how these areas look in 5 to 10 years
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Old 11-07-2018, 09:19 AM
 
Location: Miami, FL
9 posts, read 2,721 times
Reputation: 24
I haven't been on these forums in awhile but have to say, "Yes. The noise is that bad." The 2005 Federal Train Horn Rule set a max volume for train horns which some believe has had the unintended effect of train horns being louder than they used to be because the railroad doesn't want to have an accident and be blamed for not being as loud as law allows. In the environmental study which accompanies the Rule, the FRA states that it is known that millions of citizens are SEVERELY impacted by train horn noise and that they expect many cities will make use of their new ability to create quiet zones to mitigate the increased noise. 40,000 residents of Columbia live within a half mile of a crossing which is considered to be a "severe impact" zone. Many residents live near more than one crossing. Some areas between Stone Stadium and the river are within a half mile of 18 crossings. Some of the crossings have 18 trains/day. The effect of that on a really bad day is 15-20 minutes of constant horn blowing as the train comes through town......about every hour day and night. Sometimes you get to hear two trains at once which is simply awful. Amtrak can be heard inside homes more than a mile from the crossings and they come through at night.



Rail traffic is increasing in Columbia with the inland port in Greer.



It would definitely be better to consolidate the tracks and eliminate as many at-grade crossings as possible but that is going to require a lot of money and coordination at the local/regional/state level. Federal grants require matches. Since that dream has effectively been on a back burner for decades, the City could at least choose to upgrade safety and technology at crossings in ways which allow quiet zones. It would greatly improve quality of life. My understanding is that the proposed location for the switch track extension that was planned in the north to bring the tracks together is no longer feasible due to development so another plan will be needed. I don't know if that is true or not but that's what I've heard.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodlands View Post
So the City will have to spend millions on safety improvements to "quiet" railroads? I grew up in North Columbia miles from the nearest train line.. but I could always hear trains.. especially Amtrak.. as it rode in and out of town in the early morning hours. It was loud then.. I can only imagine the noise living right next to the tracks. That said.. I never really heard or maybe just didn't pay attention to the trains during the other times of the day. This was back in the 70s and 80s.. I wonder if the amount of rail traffic in Columbia has increased since then? I would have thought rail traffic was declining nationally including in Columbia.. the comment from the resident in this article about hearing hundreds of train horns seems overblown unless its coming from heavy handed engineers due to additional federal safety requirements which may explain why its noisier now than back in the day....


The City should allocate the funding to consolidate all the train traffic to the route that runs through North Columbia down past Columbia College in Eau Claire and on through Main Street and Elmwood Park.. This can be accomplished via a "switch" track near Farrow and Fontaine Roads. They could then spend the "quiet" money to quiet those crossings which would eliminate the need to do anything near USC and the Harden Street corridor since that track could be abandoned and turned into a bike trail. All train traffic would run through the vista below grade.


https://www.thestate.com/news/local/...217915810.html


Proposed Switch Track Location that could solve most of Columbia train problems..


https://www.google.com/maps/place/Co...!4d-81.0348144
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Old 11-07-2018, 01:51 PM
 
5,802 posts, read 8,890,076 times
Reputation: 1681
Quote:
Originally Posted by bk2000 View Post
I haven't been on these forums in awhile but have to say, "Yes. The noise is that bad." The 2005 Federal Train Horn Rule set a max volume for train horns which some believe has had the unintended effect of train horns being louder than they used to be because the railroad doesn't want to have an accident and be blamed for not being as loud as law allows. In the environmental study which accompanies the Rule, the FRA states that it is known that millions of citizens are SEVERELY impacted by train horn noise and that they expect many cities will make use of their new ability to create quiet zones to mitigate the increased noise. 40,000 residents of Columbia live within a half mile of a crossing which is considered to be a "severe impact" zone. Many residents live near more than one crossing. Some areas between Stone Stadium and the river are within a half mile of 18 crossings. Some of the crossings have 18 trains/day. The effect of that on a really bad day is 15-20 minutes of constant horn blowing as the train comes through town......about every hour day and night. Sometimes you get to hear two trains at once which is simply awful. Amtrak can be heard inside homes more than a mile from the crossings and they come through at night.



Rail traffic is increasing in Columbia with the inland port in Greer.



It would definitely be better to consolidate the tracks and eliminate as many at-grade crossings as possible but that is going to require a lot of money and coordination at the local/regional/state level. Federal grants require matches. Since that dream has effectively been on a back burner for decades, the City could at least choose to upgrade safety and technology at crossings in ways which allow quiet zones. It would greatly improve quality of life. My understanding is that the proposed location for the switch track extension that was planned in the north to bring the tracks together is no longer feasible due to development so another plan will be needed. I don't know if that is true or not but that's what I've heard.


Well lets hope the President and Congress can put aside any partisan bickering and pass a REAL infrastructure bill where projects like this can actually get funded.....It would seem like improved infrastructure resonates anywhere in the Country whether its blue or red... I cant think of a state that doesn't have a infrastructure need
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Old 11-08-2018, 10:56 AM
 
Location: Miami, FL
9 posts, read 2,721 times
Reputation: 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodlands View Post
Well lets hope the President and Congress can put aside any partisan bickering and pass a REAL infrastructure bill where projects like this can actually get funded.....It would seem like improved infrastructure resonates anywhere in the Country whether its blue or red... I cant think of a state that doesn't have a infrastructure need

True....There are already various types of grants available though, especially for large projects like rail consolidation. Columbia will have to come up with quite a bit of money for a match though. The Assembly Street Consolidation project has been dusted off and is undergoing a NEPA study now but I don't hear much conversation around how the City will fund the match money necessary for grants. If there is no will to figure that out then why are we spending so much on these studies? For smaller quiet zone projects, federal grants, when available, often end up raising the cost and time to implement so much that it isn't worth it. Some states have money set aside to help with rail safety and quiet zone related improvements. To my knowledge, SC is not one of them.
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Old 11-08-2018, 12:57 PM
 
5,802 posts, read 8,890,076 times
Reputation: 1681
Quote:
Originally Posted by bk2000 View Post
True....There are already various types of grants available though, especially for large projects like rail consolidation. Columbia will have to come up with quite a bit of money for a match though. The Assembly Street Consolidation project has been dusted off and is undergoing a NEPA study now but I don't hear much conversation around how the City will fund the match money necessary for grants. If there is no will to figure that out then why are we spending so much on these studies? For smaller quiet zone projects, federal grants, when available, often end up raising the cost and time to implement so much that it isn't worth it. Some states have money set aside to help with rail safety and quiet zone related improvements. To my knowledge, SC is not one of them.


I wonder if it would be cheaper or more feasible to relocate the track that runs thru North Columbia/Eau Claire and close the track that runs through USC Five Points by building a double track in the middle of 277? both tracks could enter the medial of 277 near Fontaine Road and travel in the median down to Palmetto Richland right before it turns into Bull Street then divert back into the existing track that runs over North Main and around Elmwood Park and into the below grade corridor in the Vista. I have no idea if it is possible from an engineering perspective but it would move both tracks out of residential and commercial areas and by putting it in the highway maybe you could eliminate some of the "red tap" since its already a noxious use that exist today. There are RR tracks in Highway medians all over the country.. seems like this would be an appropriate place with the proper safety walls and dozens of at grade crossings would be eliminated




Example of one in Richmond VA


https://www.google.com/maps/@37.5493...7i13312!8i6656
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Old 11-08-2018, 08:01 PM
 
Location: Columbia,SC
677 posts, read 421,457 times
Reputation: 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodlands View Post
I wonder if it would be cheaper or more feasible to relocate the track that runs thru North Columbia/Eau Claire and close the track that runs through USC Five Points by building a double track in the middle of 277? both tracks could enter the medial of 277 near Fontaine Road and travel in the median down to Palmetto Richland right before it turns into Bull Street then divert back into the existing track that runs over North Main and around Elmwood Park and into the below grade corridor in the Vista. I have no idea if it is possible from an engineering perspective but it would move both tracks out of residential and commercial areas and by putting it in the highway maybe you could eliminate some of the "red tap" since its already a noxious use that exist today. There are RR tracks in Highway medians all over the country.. seems like this would be an appropriate place with the proper safety walls and dozens of at grade crossings would be eliminated




Example of one in Richmond VA


https://www.google.com/maps/@37.5493...7i13312!8i6656
That would be cool for a Commuter Rail running up 277.
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Old 11-09-2018, 08:22 AM
 
5,802 posts, read 8,890,076 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Growingup15 View Post
That would be cool for a Commuter Rail running up 277.


You could actually take it all the way up I-77 to Charlotte as well. There is enough space in the median to get it to atleast Rock Hill once you get beyond the more recent widening efforts... then it could transition on to existing tracks for slower speeds.

In fact even if you built this line down 277 you could keep one of the other two (North Columbia or USC lines) as an emergency track just in case it is needed to bypass this new section for one reason or another...
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Old 11-09-2018, 09:08 AM
 
5,802 posts, read 8,890,076 times
Reputation: 1681
Quote:
Originally Posted by bk2000 View Post
True....There are already various types of grants available though, especially for large projects like rail consolidation. Columbia will have to come up with quite a bit of money for a match though. The Assembly Street Consolidation project has been dusted off and is undergoing a NEPA study now but I don't hear much conversation around how the City will fund the match money necessary for grants. If there is no will to figure that out then why are we spending so much on these studies? For smaller quiet zone projects, federal grants, when available, often end up raising the cost and time to implement so much that it isn't worth it. Some states have money set aside to help with rail safety and quiet zone related improvements. To my knowledge, SC is not one of them.


Interesting take on the Governor's Office.. First time in quite a while that a Governor is from the midlands.. The article seems to imply that Govs "bring home the bacon" for their homeland sections of the state.. Maybe Mayor Benjamin needs to have a sit down with McMasters to talk about Railroad issues in the City. Ironically, the Mayor states in this article that repairing the Cola Canal seems to be the top priority....I guess I can understand that since it provides the city's drinking water...


https://www.thestate.com/news/politi...221278590.html
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Old 11-09-2018, 10:24 AM
 
28,048 posts, read 25,186,047 times
Reputation: 16690
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodlands View Post
Interesting take on the Governor's Office.. First time in quite a while that a Governor is from the midlands.. The article seems to imply that Govs "bring home the bacon" for their homeland sections of the state.. Maybe Mayor Benjamin needs to have a sit down with McMasters to talk about Railroad issues in the City. Ironically, the Mayor states in this article that repairing the Cola Canal seems to be the top priority....I guess I can understand that since it provides the city's drinking water...


https://www.thestate.com/news/politi...221278590.html
At first I was thinking Nikki Haley, but McMaster is a native. We'll see what he does for the region.
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Old 11-09-2018, 03:08 PM
 
Location: Irmo, SC
1,392 posts, read 1,311,302 times
Reputation: 310
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mutiny77 View Post
At first I was thinking Nikki Haley, but McMaster is a native. We'll see what he does for the region.
Hasn’t he had that chance already? Lol But of course now he has a full term. We’ll see.
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