NCDOT announces special train from Raleigh to Open in Pinehurst

The N.C. Department of Transportation’s Rail Division announced Wednesday that NC By Train, the state’s passenger rail service, will run a special train from Raleigh to this year’s U.S. Open in Pinehurst.

“We’re thrilled to work with so many partners including Amtrak, Aberdeen Carolina & Western Railway and the U.S. Golf Association to be able to offer this special trip experience,” said state Transportation Secretary Joey Hopkins. “Special trains and stops like this provide the opportunity to avoid potential traffic and parking issues at large events and also show people everything that’s possible when we improve and expand our intercity passenger rail.”

The “Open Express” train will run daily between Raleigh Union Station and the Pinehurst Clubhouse near the Pinehurst No. 2 golf course from June 13-16, when championship play is scheduled for the U.S. Open. The practice rounds for the golf tourney are June 10-12. 

“We are delighted to work with the North Carolina Department of Transportation and other partners to offer this unique transportation option to the U.S. Open at Pinehurst,” Amtrak Vice President Ray Lang said. “This is an exciting, historic event and we welcome this opportunity to give golf fans an enjoyable, stress-free way to travel to and from Pinehurst with their friends and families.”

The morning train will depart Raleigh Union Station at 7 a.m. and Cary at 7:15 a.m. and arrive in Pinehurst at approximately 9:10 a.m. The evening train will depart from the Pinehurst Clubhouse at 6:35 p.m. and arrive in Cary at about 8:30 p.m. and Raleigh Union Station about 15 minutes later. 

The “Open Express” train tickets are available for purchase now on Amtrak’s website. Tickets are available on a first come, first serve basis and seating is limited. Tickets must be bought in advance of travel. When purchasing your ticket(s) online, type or select “Pinehurst NC” for your destination and return trip. Food and beverages will be available to purchase on board. Visit Amtrak.com for ticket prices and more information.

Passengers will access the championship rounds through Gate 10 adjacent to the Pinehurst Clubhouse, which is just a short walk from the Pinehurst No. 2 course.

“Aberdeen Carolina & Western Railway is proud to help the state of North Carolina provide such convenient passenger train travel for tournament attendees,” said Robert Menzies, founder and owner of Aberdeen Carolina & Western Railway. “This can make the 30,000-40,000 daily visitors realize the conveniences of passenger rail travel in North Carolina and make the USGA’s Tournament a great worldwide event.” 

Taking NC By Train is an environmentally friendly and sustainable transportation choice that helps reduce congestion on the state’s highway system. Visit NC By Train for more information, to plan a trip, see available everyday discounts and buy tickets.

Feature photo: U.S. Open trophy at Pinehurst No. 2 by Sandhills Sentinel photographer Melissa Schaub.

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