Four items on Council’s consent agenda aimed to improve how Asheville residents move about the city — and, thanks to a resolution supporting a statewide initiative for passenger rail in Western North Carolina, potentially across the country. The N.C. General Assembly could provide $890,000 to fund a bus connection between Asheville and Amtrak’s terminal in Salisbury.
Community and business representatives from across the rail industry gathered in Asheville on Sept. 22 for the Railroads & Regional Economic Development Conference. Organized by the WNC Rail Committee, the conference revealed some hints of how railroads may adapt to changing times.
Above: Jeff Joyce (left), government affairs manager of the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce, and Ben Teague, executive director of the Economic Development Coalition, listen intently to a presentation by WCU Professor Dr. Michael Smith — Photo by Michael Muller
Citizens and officials have been talking for years about bringing passenger-rail service to Asheville, and yet the generally popular idea still seems a long way off. Who’s been doing what? and when might the whistle blow for Western North Carolina?
In 1880, the telegraph was the fastest means of communication, using long and short beeps to send messages hundreds of miles. The fastest way to travel across the country was by train. Today we've come full circle: We talk in tweets, and we dream of ways to use the "rapid transport" Google Fiber would bring […]