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Meetings set for future of the Red Line Commuter Rail

The Red Line Commuter Rail would link passengers from Uptown to Lake Norman.

A vacant train track running into the foreground before disappearing into a thick tree line.

Proponents of the Red Line believe a new transportation system would ease the burden off Charlotte traffic.

Photo by WCNC

We get it. Getting around Charlotte in a hurry is tough without a car. That’s why plans are in motion to bring a major transit expansion to the metro area — with a series of public meetings set to begin this week.

Reported by WCNC Charlotte last October, Norfolk Southern Railway Company and the City of Charlotte are actively pursuing a way to launch the Red Line Commuter Rail — a passenger train that would link commuters from Mooresville, Davidson, Cornelius, Huntersville, or North Charlotte directly to Uptown.

A map with a red line connecting a hopeful train rail through Charlotte-area communities.

The Red Line would provide a direct connection to the Charlotte Gateway Station and the surrounding entertainment district including the Carolina Panthers, Charlotte Knights, and Charlotte Football Club.

Photo by Charlotte Area Transit System

Scope

  • 10 stations + 25 miles of track across two counties
  • Stations will offer park and ride, mobility hubs, and first/last mile connections
  • Train will use the existing Norfolk Southern (“O” Line) rail line that will be upgraded to accommodate the new service

A new rail line would mean less traffic on I-77. Doesn’t that sound nice?

The image of a train with lights on moving towards the camera.

Photo by the City of Charlotte

A favor from the Queen (City)

The city of Charlotte approved $5 million for updated work on the design and engineering of the Red Line — which has been in early development since 1998.

“Connecting Charlotte to North Mecklenburg has always been the pathway to unlocking regional mobility,” Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles said in a statement to WCNC Charlotte.

The next stop

If a train from Uptown to Lake Norman sounds like a dream come true, the city wants your feedback.

Excited to learn more? Here’s the schedule for the first round of meetings:

  • Wednesday, April 10 — Virtual public meeting, 6-8 p.m., on the CATS YouTube channel.
  • Tuesday, April 16 — In-person meeting for the Cornelius, Davidson and Mooresville communities, 6-8 p.m., Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library, 119 S. Main St., Davidson
  • Thursday, April 18 — In-person meeting for the Cornelius, Davidson, and Huntersville communities, 6-8 p.m., Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library, 16500 Holly Crest Ln., Huntersville
  • Saturday, April 20 — In-person meeting for the Charlotte communities, 10 a.m., Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library, 4045 N. Tryon St., Sugar Creek
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