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Another couple of trains for Virginia

Postby chefwrg » Thu Mar 19, 2009 2:40 pm

From the Richmond Times Dispatch:


Published: March 19, 2009

Richmond could see another Amtrak train to Washington by next winter.

The Commonweath Transportation Board has agreed to pay for a three-year pilot project to add one round-trip passenger train a day from Richmond to the nation's capital.

The $25 million pilot project also would underwrite an additional round-trip passenger train daily between Lynchburg and Washington.

Amtrak would have to approve the additional rail service.
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Re: Another couple of trains for Virginia

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Thu Mar 19, 2009 3:16 pm

Another clip from a Lynchburg newspaper notes that as part of this same initiative there will also be a Lynchburg-Wash train:

    The funding consists of $17.2 million that will, for the next three years, operate two daily Amtrak trains. One will serve the Lynchburg-to-Washington route, with stops in Charlottesville and Culpeper. The other train will serve a Richmond-to-Washington route
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Re: Another couple of trains for Virginia

Postby Darien Red Sox » Thu Mar 19, 2009 3:52 pm

Gilbert B Norman wrote:Another clip from a Lynchburg newspaper notes that as part of this same initiative there will also be a Lynchburg-Wash train:

    The funding consists of $17.2 million that will, for the next three years, operate two daily Amtrak trains. One will serve the Lynchburg-to-Washington route, with stops in Charlottesville and Culpeper. The other train will serve a Richmond-to-Washington route

I like the idea of an extra Charlottesville train :-D, would be nice to have one that dose not get in so late. Would these trains originate in Washington or be a continuation North East Regionals with a locomotive change at Washington?
Some people complain about the traffic on I95, If you have a problem with traffic and the rails go where you are going, TAKE THE TRAIN!!!
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Re: Another couple of trains for Virginia

Postby mtuandrew » Thu Mar 19, 2009 5:49 pm

Any thoughts about continuing the Lynchburg train to Roanoke? :-D Not that Amtrak or the Commonwealth of Virginia has any need to spend more money on trains, but that seems like just about the only other corner of Virginia without Amtrak service.
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Re: Another couple of trains for Virginia

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Thu Mar 19, 2009 6:47 pm

Then, Mr. Andrew, a VPI student will come on here and say, why not Christiansburg?
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Re: Another couple of trains for Virginia

Postby Matt Johnson » Thu Mar 19, 2009 8:09 pm

Gilbert B Norman wrote:Then, Mr. Andrew, a VPI student will come on here and say, why not Christiansburg?


With transportation available between Blacksburg and Roanoke, I'd settle for Roanoke! (Flew out of ROA quite a few times during my time at Virginia Tech...)
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Re: Another couple of trains for Virginia

Postby matthewsaggie » Thu Mar 19, 2009 8:55 pm

I rode the Crescent out of DC last Sunday evening, heading to Charlotte. I got a chance to look at the conductors manifest, and we had 120 off at Lynchburg, and 3 on. When we left Lynchburg the last 2 coaches were empty. New train will take some pressure off of 19/20 asnd perhaps allow for more longer sales.
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Lynchburg and Richmond

Postby jp1822 » Thu Mar 19, 2009 10:02 pm

The plan Amtrak had when they first began discussion on a train to Lynchburg was extending a train that originates and terminates in both NYC and Lynchburg. This would simply be an extension of a current NYC based train, changing power at Washington DC to get to and from Lynchburg. My question is - are the layover facilities in Lynchburg, let alone a wye to turn the train?

I wish they could get a train over to Roanoke. This would augment the end-point even greater!
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Re: Lynchburg and Richmond

Postby ne plus ultra » Thu Mar 19, 2009 10:37 pm

jp1822 wrote:The plan Amtrak had when they first began discussion on a train to Lynchburg was extending a train that originates and terminates in both NYC and Lynchburg. This would simply be an extension of a current NYC based train, changing power at Washington DC to get to and from Lynchburg. My question is - are the layover facilities in Lynchburg, let alone a wye to turn the train?

I wish they could get a train over to Roanoke. This would augment the end-point even greater!
'
A serious question - what are layover facilities? What is required in a place like Carbondale or Quincy, other than a place to turn the train around?
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Re: Another couple of trains for Virginia

Postby mkellerm » Fri Mar 20, 2009 7:19 am

At minor endpoints, Amtrak just requires trackage to park, clean, and power the train between trips. Here is how Amtrak described the layover facility needed for the proposed Dubuque-Chicago service:

It is presumed that an existing track at Dubuque located within the redeveloped riverfront area, as described
elsewhere in this report, can be utilized for overnight storage of the train consist. It is recommended that some
minor rehabilitation work be performed, totaling $80,000. In addition, a small building facility should be
provided for use by train crews, as well as for storage of cleaning equipment and for communications facilities.
A standby 480-volt power unit as well as potable water unit needs to be provided.

A line item of $300,000 is recommended for the track rehabilitation and layover facilities, and this amount has
been added to the capital requirements of each route alternative as reflected in Section VI.


That is all that is necessary for push-pull operation, as in the midwest. For the extension of an NEC train to Virginia, you also need a place to turn the train. My understanding is that the service was extended to Lynchburg rather than Charlottesville because (a) there is a wye that can be used to turn the train and (b) NS has yard facilities in Lynchburg that can be used for the layover.
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Re: Another couple of trains for Virginia

Postby ne plus ultra » Fri Mar 20, 2009 8:19 am

Thanks for the info.
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Re: Another couple of trains for Virginia

Postby chefwrg » Fri Mar 20, 2009 12:28 pm

A more detailed article came out today.

http://www.timesdispatch.com/rtd/busine ... 03/236377/
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Re: Another couple of trains for Virginia

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Fri Mar 20, 2009 12:38 pm

Brief passage from the material submitted by Mr. Chef:

    While firm schedules and fares have yet to be worked out, the Richmond train will tentatively pull out of Staples Mill about 7 a.m. daily and arrive at Washington's Union Station about 9:30 a.m., then leave Union Station about 4 p.m. and arrive back at Staples Mill at 6-6:30 p.m., according to the Rail and Public Transportation Department. It would be the ninth daily round trip between Richmond and Washington. Northbound trains currently leave Richmond at 6 a.m. and 8 a.m., among other times.

    The Lynchburg train will leave the Kemper Street Station about 7:45 a.m. and reach Union Station at 11:20-11:30 a.m., the department said. It will depart Washington about 5 p.m. and return to Lynchburg at about 8:30 p.m.

    Each train will consist of up to eight passenger coaches, a business-class coach and a café car, Page said.
The consist noted appears to be quite consistent with that of the typical NE Regional train, and in the interest of operational efficiency, Amtrak should want such to be continuing trains. So would the sponsoring agency as a better 'draw for itineraries such as Stamford-Charlottesville for Mr. Darien (never mind THAT TEAM he associates with; but I could go WAAAAY OT with remarks by my Brother-in-Law made at my Niece's wedding - during 2004 no less) would be available.

Given the normal station ("dwell" in railfanese) time allowed at Wash, it would appear the NB Lynchburg train would continue to Boston as 176; the Richmond train as 174. SB things are somewhat "muddier'. There already is a 93 departing Wash for Richmond from Wash at 550P AND an 85 departing 7PM. Possibly 171 arriving Wash 410P could be the continuation but the next available Regional presently terminating at Wash is 173 arriving 645P. However since the Lynchburg train has greater distance; it should be a continuation of 93 and the Richmond of 173.

Trust everyone is clear; hope you all were taking notes as it is now time for a pop quiz :P :P
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Re: Another couple of trains for Virginia

Postby chefwrg » Fri Mar 20, 2009 2:01 pm

Any thoughts about continuing the Lynchburg train to Roanoke? Not that Amtrak or the Commonwealth of Virginia has any need to spend more money on trains, but that seems like just about the only other corner of Virginia without Amtrak service


It is my understanding that once the Lynchburg to DC service is up and running, and proves itself succesful, then an extension to Roanoke will be the next phase and ultimately, on to Bristol. This at one point in time was known as the Trans Dominion express although I don't know if it still is.
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Re: Another couple of trains for Virginia

Postby themallard » Fri Mar 20, 2009 5:18 pm

chefwrg wrote:
Any thoughts about continuing the Lynchburg train to Roanoke? Not that Amtrak or the Commonwealth of Virginia has any need to spend more money on trains, but that seems like just about the only other corner of Virginia without Amtrak service


It is my understanding that once the Lynchburg to DC service is up and running, and proves itself succesful, then an extension to Roanoke will be the next phase and ultimately, on to Bristol. This at one point in time was known as the Trans Dominion express although I don't know if it still is.


Here's the site to the proposal cited above: http://www.tdxinfo.org/ Proposes to use "European style" trainsets. A video references Amtrak's Pacific NW corridor and Talgo equipment. However, in the FAQ section they only state the project is for capital expenses such as track upgrades and stations, and that the trainsets are to be leased or purchased over a number of years.
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