Letter from the President
Dear SEPRI Supports,
April has been another great month for passenger rail in the Southeast as well as the SEPRI. Our organization has grown in prominence and importance within the passenger rail community and the Southeast region as a whole. To give you some statistics on our progress, we have a 25% increase in the number of subscribers. Over the last 30 days, our educational and news content has organically reached 48K people. Our social media following has also increased by about 12%. We are very happy with these numbers and look forward to seeing them continue to grow.
In addition to our educational and news programs, we are starting to put boats on the grounds. We have volunteers and staff would through out the Southeast to bring rail to your neighborhood. Details on some of our initiatives are listed in the newsletter, so please check them out!
As always we could not have accomplished any of these things without your support.
Thank you and lets make the Southeast #READYFORRAIL
President of the Southeastern Passenger Rail Initiative
Southeast Rail News
North Carolina and Virginia have set new first quarter ridership records, beating out pre pandemic numbers. In North Carolina's case, their ridership surpassed 2019 by 30%. This is quite the accomplishment and an indication that passenger rail is the way of the future.
Exciting News for North Carolina Rail Travelers
NCDOT has confirmed with the SEPRI that it will be upgrading its equipment on NC by Rail routes. This is great news for those who rely on train service in the state, as some of the current equipment is outdated and in need of replacement. NCDOT has not yet confirmed the exact equipment it will be purchasing or the quantity, but it is expected that new Charger locomotives will be included. Hopefully, new venture train sets will also be part of the upgrade.
This purchase comes after Siemens opened a manufacturing plant in Lexington, NC, demonstrating their commitment to investing in rail infrastructure in the region. Our guess is that this will be a lengthy process, with the new equipment being used to supplement current train sets and expand the service.
We look forward to seeing the improved service this equipment upgrade will bring to NC by Rail routes. In honor of Earth Day, we wanted to highlight the need to electrify intercity rail. Electrification not only benefits the environment, but also provides economic advantages such as faster speeds, more departures, and cheaper operations. We are excited to announce that there are some routes that are feasible for electrification in the near future, meeting specific criteria such as frequent passenger service, double tracks, and strong passenger rail agreements.
We are also thrilled to share that Brightline has unveiled their new Orlando station, which marks the end of the Miami to Orlando corridor set to open later this year. The station is modern and sleek with amenities such as a bar, market, and high platforms for easy boarding. Tickets to and from Orlando will go on sale next month.
To show your support for modern, high-quality passenger rail in the Southeast, we are introducing the new SEPRI Baseball Cap. Proceeds will go towards helping the SEPRI fulfill its mission to educate on the benefits of bringing passenger rail and building a better future for all.
All Aboard Northwest
We had the privilege of getting to know the All Aboard Northwest organization, and we are excited for the work they are doing to expand passenger rail and advocacy. Their outreach includes education programs, community outreach, coalition building, and more, specifically bringing new passenger lines to areas of the country that have largely been forgotten.
Monroe NC Suburban Rail Project
We are making strides in bringing new rail service to the Southeast as well, as our Western North Carolina Field Director was able to sit down and discuss the creation of the Monroe to Charlotte commuter/suburban passenger rail line with members of the Monroe NC planning staff. The goal is to link the densely populated southeastern section of the Charlotte metro area to the city center with high-quality passenger rail.
For more information on these initiatives and others, check out our website and follow us on social media.
Support the SEPRI
We at the Southeastern Passenger Rail Initiative are working very hard to bring high quality passenger rail to the Southeast. Please consider helping us fulfill our mission by making a monetary donation.
Thank you for your continued support of SEPRI and modern, high-quality passenger rail in the Southeast.
The SEPRI Team