Virginia service expansion

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daybeers

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Ther issue with boarding and disembarking time at CVS is that there is a large number of on and off there and apparently all doors cannot be opened at a low level platform station given the number of staff available to man them. No automatic door operation from a single control point at low level platforms. That could lead to excessive dwell time.
Ah yes of course, low-level platforms are terrible. I thought City was talking about it taking a while in Roanoke.
 

jamess

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We have an answer! Not before July, but during July. This will be a great addition to the service with a very reasonable late-afternoon departure from Roanoke, great for Friday evening getting home from school. The return trip leaves DC around 8 and gets you back to Roanoke in the early afternoon.


Great to see. The times arent perfect, but they are useful. Having it start before the VT semester is great and very important.

Now onto a 3rd daily train!
 

jis

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I know i’m probably just asking for speculation, but does anybody have any idea as to why they haven’t invested more in modernizing the platforms at Charlottesville? It’s such a busy station and a wealthy area - and it surprises me that they haven’t poured more money into it.
Here is an interesting article about the political and logistical winds that have been blowing across the Charlottesville Station. The article is from 2016, but it gives a good sense of the complexities.


Incidentally the "Meredith Richards" quoted in this article is now the President of the Rail Passenger Association.
 
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Here is an interesting article about the political and logistical winds that have been blowing across the Charlottesville Station. The article is from 2016, but it gives a good sense of the complexities.


Incidentally the "Meredith Richards" quoted in this article is now the President of the Rail Passenger Association.
Thanks. Didn’t realize the station property is privately owned. That’s a problem.
 

City of Miami

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I know i’m probably just asking for speculation, but does anybody have any idea as to why they haven’t invested more in modernizing the platforms at Charlottesville? It’s such a busy station and a wealthy area - and it surprises me that they haven’t poured more money into it.
It's busy for under an hour a day altogether. Far from investing more they (whoever they are) have downsized to a single agent on duty and he must have a split shift since he can't be there all the time. I haven't asked him about that but he did tell me he is now the only one. He is on the platform for the NER arrivals and opens from the outside an additional door, between BC & QC.
 
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No room at the inn for a second overnight train. It will be a mid-day turn. Look for an extension of 151 WAS-RNK. 67 will continue to NPN, but 66 will be flipped to originate from RNK. In its place, 186/124 will be extended to originate from NPN in the afternoons.
This was an earlier post and I was wondering if this was still the plan. This raises the question that if 66 originates in Roanoke, what happens to the sleeper when/if it returns. It will be interesting to see the new schedule.
 
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It's busy for under an hour a day altogether. Far from investing more they (whoever they are) have downsized to a single agent on duty and he must have a split shift since he can't be there all the time. I haven't asked him about that but he did tell me he is now the only one. He is on the platform for the NER arrivals and opens from the outside an additional door, between BC & QC.

The investment needed is a capital investment in the platform(s) as a start. It really doesn’t need an investment in additional personnel at this point.
 

City of Miami

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There's nothing wrong with the platform - it's a lot better than the CSX one on the other side of the station for the Cardinal! All of the station platforms on the line between New Carrollton and Roanoke are low level, including WAS. I'm sure NS owns the platform as it's in their ROW so they decide. It's already double tracked through there so no room for a loading siding.
 

RebelRider

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I know i’m probably just asking for speculation, but does anybody have any idea as to why they haven’t invested more in modernizing the platforms at Charlottesville? It’s such a busy station and a wealthy area - and it surprises me that they haven’t poured more money into it.

Upgrading the platform used by the Cardinal is in the works. I have no idea what the schedule is, but it is definitely an active project. The platform on the NS side for the Crescent and Regional trains is pretty good. Just needs better lighting, particularly under the Main St. bridge.

This was an earlier post and I was wondering if this was still the plan. This raises the question that if 66 originates in Roanoke, what happens to the sleeper when/if it returns. It will be interesting to see the new schedule.

The sleeper and baggage car will be removed and added at Washington. It'd be nice if passengers were allowed to occupy their rooms before 66 arrived, say starting at 8:30 PM, then be switch on when the train arrived. I doubt that'll happen though.
 
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In the days of the Night Owl sleepers
could be boarded in Washington and Boston at 9:30pm. It could certainly be done but that would require the SCA to be on duty sooner, something Amtrak doesn’t seem to do.
 
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RebelRider

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In the days of the Night Owl sleepers
could be boarded in Washington and Boston at 9:30pm. It could certainly be done but that would require the SCA to be on duty sooner, something Amtrak doesn’t seem to do.

The Night Owl originated in WAS and departed around 10:10 PM, so being available for boarding at 9:30 PM wasn't a huge effort. The whole train would be spotted and ready. Boarding a standalone sleeper early in WAS could be done, but I'm not sure the benefit of boarding 30 minutes before departure when a terminal switch also has to be done would justify the effort in this case.

What was really nice for travelers was the Executive Sleeper. That car was cut-off in NYP when 66 arrived and passengers could remain in their rooms until 8 AM. Southbound, the Executive Sleeper was available for boarding beginning at 9:30 PM up until train departure at 3:45 AM. This allowed NYP passengers a full night sleep. Doubt NYP has the capacity to tie up a track until 8 AM these days, though.
 
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What was really nice for travelers was the Executive Sleeper.
Yes, I did something only a railfan would do. I was going to visit friends near Providence from Baltimore. Took the Executive sleeper to NYP, which worked as advertised (the heritage 10-6’s had such comfortable beds), then a corridor train in the morning the rest of the way. My rationale/excuse was I didn’t want to have them make the very early morning trip to the PVD station to pick me up.
 

jis

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jis

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MODERATOR'S NOTE: A number of posts about general eastern LD train staffing and equipment issues have been moved to their own thread:


Please continue that general discussion on this new thread and leave the current thread for Virignia rail expansion discussion.

Thank you for your understanding, cooperation and participation.
 
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This is the enabling funding for the NC half of the SEHSR Project. We have already seen fudning in Virginia for acquisition of the Virginia portion of right of way.

This is good to see. Maybe it will eventually happen and it should reduce travel times and, perhaps more importantly, freight train interference. Not sure why the report mentions Silver Meteor as I assume most Amtrak trains would go this way, although I suspect the Palmetto will remain on the present route to serve eastern NC cities and Charleston.

If the S line was in existence today the Silver Star would take 9 hours Richmond to Savannah (based on 1985 schedule) versus 11 hours on the present circuitous route. Interesting, but not surprising, the 9 hours is about the same as today's route on the A line direct to Savannah. Not surprising because the Seaboard and Atlantic Coast Line were very competitive for the passenger business. Even though there was very little mileage difference, the Seaboard had to contend with more curves and hills. Presumably the SEHSR service will be considerably faster than 9 hours.
 

jis

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Among the June '22 CRISI grants is this bit of funding for renovation/upgrade of the Petersburg Ettrick station:

Virginia – Ettrick Station Improvements (Up to $6,355,829) Virginia Passenger Rail Authority

The proposed project will make improvements to the station located in the Village of Ettrick, within Chesterfield County, Virginia. The project will make improvements to the existing station building and infrastructure and construct a new Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant 850-foot long platform. These collective improvements were designed to accommodate the future installation of a third track to accommodate the extension of the Southeast Corridor from Richmond to Raleigh. The project qualifies for the statutorily required set-aside for projects eligible under 49 U.S.C. § 22907(c)(2) that support the development of new intercity passenger rail service routes including alignments for existing routes. The Virginia Passenger Rail Authority will provide a 40 percent match.
 
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jis

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west point

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Building the additional Long Bridge 2 main tracks is a key to the whole Virginia plan. Without it the possibilities of additional expansion may be limited to only 2 or 3 more round trips. The sooner the grant the quicker the bridge can be built.

As an aside the present Long Bridge is critical. Not only for passenger trains but freight. . Any closure of the bridge would cause a major rail freight disruption. Best be that another bridge completed as soon as possible, Finish the bridge as quickly as possible even if the 2 additional tracks are not complete.
 

RebelRider

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I haven't been able to find the answer to this question: which line is the "V-line" that VA is acquiring from Norfolk Southern?

This is currently known as the NS Whitethorne District. It was originally the Virginian Railway prior to merging into the Norfolk and Western in 1959. If you look at Salem, VA, you'll see where the two different lines run parallel for a bit. The Whitethorne District is the southern most of the three tracks and is single track vs. the double track Christiansburg District.

The State of Virginia also has a transportation map here that labels the lines.
 
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