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Passenger rail service between AVL and HVL urged
Tuesday, 02 January 2018 12:13

From Staff Reports

HENDERSONVILLE — Larry Morton, president of the Apple Valley Model Railroad Club, is trying to drum up interest in passenger rail service between Asheville and Hendersonville. 

He envisions twice-daily service, Wednesday through Saturday, between the old depots in Hendersonville and Biltmore Village.

The train would run at 30 miles per hour, which, he says, is faster than driving.

 He recently ran his idea past Darl Farris, president of the Blue Ridge Southern Railroad, who said, “We wouldn’t be adverse to thinking about passenger service,” the Hendersonville Lightning reported.

The existing line currently only runs freight, but Farris said the company, Watco Transportation Services, which purchased 92 miles of short line between East Flat Rock and Dillsboro from Norfolk-Southern in 2014, is always looking for profitable ways to expand business.

Morton said thoses who visit the depot are enthusiastic about the idea. He is now taking his proposal to civic planning groups in an attempt to spark interest and make sure nothing gets built in the meantime that would obstruct his idea.

At a recent presentation before Hendersonville’s Seventh Avenue Advisory Committee, he urged preservation of the depot for a future passenger shelter.

Other organizations he has addressed include the Western North Carolina Rail Committee, the NCDOT, and the Asheville Multimodal Transportation Commission, and Hendersonville’s Downtown Advisory Committee.



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