Expanded Virginia Regional Service

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Re: Expanded Virginia Regional Service

Postby BostonUrbEx » Thu May 24, 2018 10:53 pm

My apologies for the question that follows if this answer can be found here, but both Google and the forum's search feature turn up unrelated results with the broad search terms I have available (I'm not too familiar with the area).

Why does Amtrak utilize the North End Sub instead of the Bellwood sub to get through the Richmond area? With only Newport News service operating via Main St Richmond, downtown Richmond sees just two round trips a day. If they used the Bellwood Sub, Richmond-proper could see 3.5x the current service to DC, plus a bunch of currently non-existent connections to cities to the south, including Norfolk. My guess is it is very congested with freight, but again, I'm unfamiliar with the area. I only know the names of the two different subdivisions because of OpenRailwayMap.
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Re: Expanded Virginia Regional Service

Postby mtuandrew » Thu May 24, 2018 11:24 pm

Boston: not fully sure myself, but my educated guess is that
A) Acca Yard is a pain to get through
B) the Bellwood isn’t maintained to the same standard south of RVM as it is north of there
C) guessing there is lots of local traffic south of RVM as well
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Re: Expanded Virginia Regional Service

Postby Alex M » Sat May 26, 2018 7:48 pm

Plans for the Richmond to Raleigh SEHSR call for almost all Amtrak trains to be routed over the S line which would make Main St. Station back into a pre 1959 station when SAL and C&O both used it. At Petersburgh, some Amtrak trains rejoin the A line while others keep to the S line to Raleigh, once that gets built.
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Re: Expanded Virginia Regional Service

Postby gokeefe » Thu Jun 28, 2018 8:47 pm

I can't ever remember reading about two main line tracks being built simultaneously ever ...

I would imagine it has been decades since this type of expansion has taken place anywhere ...
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Re: Expanded Virginia Regional Service

Postby Joke Insurance » Fri Jul 20, 2018 9:53 am

Are there any plans for NS to add second tracks along the NS Piedmont Division between Manassas and Charlottesville along sections that are current single tracked? That could be beneficial for adding more service for Charlottesville, Lynchburg, and Roanoke.
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Re: Expanded Virginia Regional Service

Postby ThirdRail7 » Fri Jul 20, 2018 10:23 am

BostonUrbEx wrote:My apologies for the question that follows if this answer can be found here, but both Google and the forum's search feature turn up unrelated results with the broad search terms I have available (I'm not too familiar with the area).

Why does Amtrak utilize the North End Sub instead of the Bellwood sub to get through the Richmond area? With only Newport News service operating via Main St Richmond, downtown Richmond sees just two round trips a day. If they used the Bellwood Sub, Richmond-proper could see 3.5x the current service to DC, plus a bunch of currently non-existent connections to cities to the south, including Norfolk. My guess is it is very congested with freight, but again, I'm unfamiliar with the area. I only know the names of the two different subdivisions because of OpenRailwayMap.



The Passenger Main bypass around Acca yard (when utilized) feeds directly into the North End sub, which is your route to Petersburg and Florida. The Bellwood sub has a maximum speed of 30mph and ultimately connects to the North End sub. The North End sub is good for 79mph.

It wouldn't make a lot of sense to use the Bellwood on a regular basis.
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Re: Expanded Virginia Regional Service

Postby Matt Johnson » Thu Oct 18, 2018 6:52 pm

Every time I look at the map, I can't help but think that the 50+ mile straightaway between Petersburg and Suffolk would be perfect for a high speed upgrade!
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Re: Expanded Virginia Regional Service

Postby electricron » Thu Oct 18, 2018 8:43 pm

Matt Johnson wrote:Every time I look at the map, I can't help but think that the 50+ mile straightaway between Petersburg and Suffolk would be perfect for a high speed upgrade!

Yes and no. Is a swamp full of trees, not the perfect place to install catenary wires and towers needed for HSR?
Last edited by electricron on Thu Oct 18, 2018 11:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Expanded Virginia Regional Service

Postby mtuandrew » Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:33 pm

Matt Johnson wrote:Every time I look at the map, I can't help but think that the 50+ mile straightaway between Petersburg and Suffolk would be perfect for a high speed upgrade!

Imagine that stretch at 110, let alone 125!
electricron wrote:Yes and no. Is a swamp full of trees the perfect place to install catenary wires and towers needed for HSR?

Who said anything about catenary? Siemens would gladly sell you a 125 mph diesel.
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Re: Expanded Virginia Regional Service

Postby electricron » Thu Oct 18, 2018 11:46 pm

mtuandrew wrote:Who said anything about catenary? Siemens would gladly sell you a 125 mph diesel.

Yes, a diesel will work. How much time would going 125 mph save over going 79 mph over those 50 miles of track?
Here's the math:
50 miles / 125 mph = 0.40 hours
50 miles / 79 mph = 0.63 hours
0.63 - 0.40 = 0.23
0.23 hours x 60 minutes / hour = 13.8 minutes
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Re: Expanded Virginia Regional Service

Postby Alex M » Fri Oct 19, 2018 7:48 am

Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe that the N&W J class would hit 100mph plus in this region pulling the Powhatan Arrow.
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Re: Expanded Virginia Regional Service

Postby Greg Moore » Fri Oct 19, 2018 8:10 am

electricron wrote:
mtuandrew wrote:Who said anything about catenary? Siemens would gladly sell you a 125 mph diesel.

Yes, a diesel will work. How much time would going 125 mph save over going 79 mph over those 50 miles of track?
Here's the math:
50 miles / 125 mph = 0.40 hours
50 miles / 79 mph = 0.63 hours
0.63 - 0.40 = 0.23
0.23 hours x 60 minutes / hour = 13.8 minutes


Probably a bit less when you consider time to accelerate and brake.
But people would take it.

It's also partly a marketing thing. "Look, we can do 125..." gets people thinking more about the train as an option.
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Re: Expanded Virginia Regional Service

Postby The EGE » Fri Oct 19, 2018 4:45 pm

Or, those ~10 minutes buy you a Suffolk stop (and maybe a Chesapeake stop too) without any schedule lengthening. Suffolk is a city of 90,000, and the core is fairly dense; it absolutely begs for a stop.
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Re: Expanded Virginia Regional Service

Postby mtuandrew » Fri Oct 19, 2018 5:54 pm

Or you buy yourself a Suffolk stop by using a dual-mode Charger & skipping the WAS engine change, and earn another 15 minutes besides. That’s plenty to move to the Bellwood and not lose a second.
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Re: Expanded Virginia Regional Service

Postby njt/mnrrbuff » Sat Oct 20, 2018 8:28 am

I don't know much about the specifics about the surrounding highways and roads around the Suffolk Station area but it sounds like that city would good to have a station. It's not super close to Norfolk but at the same time, it's probably within an easy drive from many smaller towns in the Hampton Roads region.

Since it is dead straight for many miles once you clear Suffolk and then a few miles east of Petersburg(Ettrick), it would be nice if they could raise the speeds to 110 on that stretch. I know that there are a lot of grade crossings. I rode the train to Norfolk six years ago.

As for the second NE Regional roundtrip to the Blue Ridge Region, getting it to Lynchburg is a start. It's a large town with probably a few universities. It would be nice eventually if it was extended to Roanoke.
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