Apr 11, 2024 - News

Red Line could stop at Camp North End

Camp North End plants

The "O" Line runs through Camp North End. Photo: Alexandria Sands/Axios

Designers behind Mecklenburg County's future Red Line, a commuter train that could connect Uptown with Lake Norman, are mulling a stop at Camp North End.

Why it matters: Development has exploded across the region in the years since the long-planned commuter rail project stalled. Now that it has new momentum, planners are reconsidering where some stations will be.

  • Camp North End, which the line passes through, is one of several areas that have transformed since the original 2008 designs.

Catch up quick: CATS has long proposed sharing Norfolk Southern's "O" line freight tracks that run parallel to Interstate 77 for the Red Line. But plans for the project stalled in 2013, when Norfolk Southern said it would no longer share its tracks.

  • The railroad operator and the City of Charlotte are now renegotiating.
  • Norfolk Southern seems heavily involved in the revived planning process, based on comments made during CATS' latest update.

What they're saying: Damon Hemmerdinger, co-president of Camp North End developer ATCO, tells Axios he favors having a stop at or near the Camp North End property.

  • Multiple planning efforts since 2010 encourage density in the North End, Hemmerdinger says.

"Not stopping within these ... neighborhoods, like Camp North End, would be really turning your back on providing people who want to live, work or visit in this part of the city ... access to a transit network."

  • The tracks graze city-owned land between Graham Street and Statesville Avenue, which could be an option for a stop. There are also existing platforms at Camp North End, where trains used to stop to transfer goods at old Army warehouses.

Yes, but: Adding more stations could slow down the train. Currently, the 25-mile ride between Charlotte Gateway Station in Uptown and Mount Mourne in Mooresville is expected to take 45 minutes.

  • Many of the locations for the 10 proposed stations could be changed.
  • For example, the Hambright station in Huntersville will likely shift because of all the new development.

The intrigue: Mass transit investments cast tremendous ripples on cities. The effects start with early planning decisions like these.

  • South End has thrived because of the Blue Line, but it stopped short of solving some traffic hiccups at PNC Music Pavilion.
  • The Silver Line, a proposed east-west rail line, is often criticized for not connecting directly to the airport. Some say this decision will be a painful oversight long term.

What's next: This month, the Charlotte Area Transit System is holding a series of public meetings about the Red Line to collect community feedback.

  • Over the next year, CATS will continue design work. A subsequent environmental study will take two years.
  • The project's price tag will be estimated later in 2024. Local officials intend to seek a penny sales tax increase for the line, on top of other mobility and transit goals.

Meetings:

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library - Davidson Branch

  • Tuesday, April 16. 6-8pm.
  • 119 South Main St., Davidson

North County Regional Library

  • Thursday, April 18. 6-8pm.
  • 16500 Holly Crest Lane, Huntersville

Sugar Creek Library

  • Saturday, April 20. 10am-12pm.
  • 4045 N. Tryon St. Suite A, Charlotte
avatar

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Charlotte.

🌱

Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Charlotte stories

No stories could be found

Charlottepostcard

Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Charlotte.

🌱

Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more