Cumberland County eyes Raleigh-to-Fayetteville passenger rail study

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- Imagine traveling from Raleigh to Fayetteville without getting on I-95. There's a new proposal to study adding rail service between the two cities.

"Every time I go to Raleigh, I hit a clog. I'd be happy to take the train to Raleigh," said Fayetteville resident Larry Kushner. "I drive from I-95 and 40. I'd like to not do that."

Kushner drives up to Raleigh every few weeks to see his three kids and six grandkids. The train could be another option for him and many others.

"We would envision it originating downtown Fayetteville and going through Johnston and Harnett counties. It would stop in downtown Raleigh," said Joel Strickland, director of Fayetteville Area Metropolitan Planning. "There could be the need to move some tracks. Could be the need to set up stations in places where stations aren't set up. Might need to upgrade existing tracks."

The project would be divided into two phases. Both phases could take up to three years to complete. Phase one would cost $100,000.

The idea leaves some downtown intrigued.

"Imagine if we have this new opportunity. How many more fans can we introduce into our culture and environment? It would give them an opportunity to enjoy baseball downtown, business and all the other things we have to offer here," said Fayetteville Woodpeckers spokeswoman Victoria Huggins.
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