Parking at Newport News

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Rafi

Conductor
Joined
Oct 19, 2005
Messages
1,222
Folks,

While I've ridden out of NPN many times, I've never had occasion to park there and leave a car and I've paid little attention to the parking lot.

I'm going to have that opportunity in the next few months, so I was wondering if anyone knows just how plentiful parking is at NPN. The lot surrounding the station never struck me as particularly large, and a Google Maps inspection suggests that there's maybe 79 spots, not including handicapped, taxi-specific, or pick-up/drop off-specific. Amtrak's web site indicates that there are 95 long-term spaces, but I can't find all of them on Google Maps. It's also not clear if long term parking carries a charge, although there's no toll gate to that lot, so I'm guessing it's free.

Anyway, a few basic questions for people who have used this lot before:

1). Is parking usually plentiful? I would be taking 66 out on Friday afternoons and returning on Sundays.

2). Is there a charge for parking?

3). How safe is the area? It's going to be a rental car on corporate insurance, but I'd obviously like to avoid the hassle of car damage.

Many thanks,

Rafi
 
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KayBee

Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 20, 2008
Messages
120
Rafi,

95 spots is a stretch, but maybe that includes parallel parking on the narrow road that is the entry to the lot. I am always suprised that the bus to Virginia Beach can always make it through the cars without hitting any!

There is no easy way to know in advance if the lot will be full or not, but in the last 6 months or so, most weekends have been seen the lot to be quite full. Note that I am usually through there on Saturday or Sunday.

There is no fee for parking.

I have never seen any damaged vehicles or broken glass that might have indicated a vehicle break-in.

The neighborhood is not the best, but does not appear to be prone to vandalism.
 

Anderson

Conductor
Joined
Nov 16, 2010
Messages
9,554
The parking lot sucks (the layout is lousy and my experience is that it is traffic jam-prone) and it's usually full. There's a lot next door that's privately owned, and the owners are (IMHO) twits about it, but the rule seems to be that you get one "free pass" on parking there before they tow you.

Amtrak probably gets the "95 spaces" bit by including the fact that people will end up parking basically on top of one another in a crunch. Without rambling on too long, this is a station that has about 300 on/offs per day, so if you're looking at a busy weekend, don't bank on parking being available. If it's a "slow" weekend (say, late February), you might be in luck.
 

Sky Pilot

Train Attendant
Joined
Mar 13, 2011
Messages
61
While Anderson has far more rail time than I, my experience with NPN's parking has always been favorable. Mind you, I always have taken the 4:55PM train to DC and during the week (for when I have morning meetings in DC) so maybe that changes things. But I work out fairly regularly at the YMCA that's about 1 block down and across the street from NPN and the lot looks like it generally has spaces. The good news is the parking is free.

The bad news is the train ride itself is inordinately long and slow until you clear RVR going north. The stretch between just south of Byrd Field (the RIchmond Airport) and RVR is particularly egregious and apart from being stopped on sidings waiting for other traffic, it seems like you go about 15 miles an hour, especially through the ACCA yard. So often I just drive from where I live in Newport News to RVR and catch the train there. Parking is $5 a day if I recall correctly. Another option is WBG.

Not much around the NPN station but a neat area 1 mile north is Hilton Village. Interesting housing and limited (boutiquey) retail and dining. Also a fishing pier on the James River behind the elementary school.

Blue skies ..
 

Kimbik

Train Attendant
Joined
May 27, 2015
Messages
20
I will be leaving my car at Newport News Amtrak on a Tuesday in August, taking the 66 train to Boston. If there are no spaces to park, what would happen? When I called Amtrak, the rep said "first come first served-- no guarantees." There is one train that leaves in the morning, and if the parking lot is filled by those passengers, I won't be able to get on the train. Would Amtrak refund my ticket? I'd have to hop over to the airport, I guess in that case. Thanks to anyone who has any knowledge of this station lot. No one will answer the phone at the station itself.
 

Anderson

Conductor
Joined
Nov 16, 2010
Messages
9,554
NPN's parking situation stinks. No question about that. Of course, there are often a few spaces that open up after the morning train leaves...but parking availability is hit-or-miss.
 
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