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The Voice of the Black Community

Arts and Entertainment

Rail Trail lights the way in South End
Art initiative powered by LED
Published Saturday, February 6, 2016 3:57 am
by Ashley Mahoney

Let the light of the Charlotte Rail Trail guide you.

Charlotte Center City Partners and Duke Energy collaborated to literally light up the Duke Energy substation and Beasley Broadcasting radio transmission tower across from the Bland Street Lynx stop.   

“Our vision is for the Rail Trail to be a zipper that connects people and neighborhoods,” said Cheryl Myers, senior vice president for planning and development at Charlotte Center City Partners. “This project represents the type of unique experiences we plan to curate across the length of the Rail Trail.”

The structures remain lit from 5:30 a.m. until sunrise and from dusk until midnight Sunday through Thursday, and dusk until 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

“I figured I’d come just to see the unveiling,” said Tasha Lloyd of Charlotte. “I’m from New York, so I’m used to taking the subway. I love taking the light rail whenever I have the opportunity to. I love how they’re branding it.”  

Lit similar to the Duke Energy Center with 12 LED floodlights, the Rail Trail lights exhibit 16,000 different colors. Additionally, they include 13 programmable scenes to symbolize holidays and other celebrations. 

“We are so excited to partner with our community to create an interactive and memorable experience on the Rail Trail,” said Lloyd Yates, executive vice president for market solutions and Carolinas Region president at Duke Energy. “We’ve seen how Charlotteans have embraced the Rail Trail as a place for fun and are thrilled to join our neighbors to power up this section of the trail.”

In similar fashion to the photography interest generated by the Duke Energy Center, Myers hopes the Rail Trail can become a focal point for artists residing in or visiting the Queen City. 

“It’s a great subject matter [because of] the beautiful colors of the lights, the shadows, the juxtaposition between the light and shadows that are created,” said Myers. “The relationship with the weather is going to be very interesting—think about what this might look like on a foggy day.” 

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