Lynchburg VA NE Regional (ext. to Roanoke and Bristol)

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Re: Lynchburg VA NE Regional (ext. to Roanoke and Bristol)

Postby Woody » Thu Oct 12, 2017 5:24 pm

Arlington wrote:If Virginia is looking for further upgrade service via Charlottesville, and looking to push new service outward from CVS, run a train on the Buckingham Branch (the Cardinal's Route) ... to terminate at Clifton Forge (and serve the Homestead and tourism).
That would nicely leave the new train about half way to Charleston and Huntington (combined metro areas population 600,000+), thus saying to West Virginia, "OK, the rest of the jobs is yours."

Another benefit of this notion of more than doubling service on the eastern end of the Cardinal route could be if it caused a head to explode among the cannibalistic posters here. (Just kidding.)
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Re: Lynchburg VA NE Regional (ext. to Roanoke and Bristol)

Postby mtuandrew » Thu Oct 12, 2017 5:52 pm

I’ll be honest: as much as I go around in circles with Philly AF over the Cardinal’s raison d’etre, the current equipment would serve everyone better in daily turns NYP-Huntington and CIN-CHI, with a bus bridge between. (Make it a Springfield Regional to Huntington if you must, in service of the 750 mile rule.)
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Re: Lynchburg VA NE Regional (ext. to Roanoke and Bristol)

Postby David Benton » Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:30 pm

electricron wrote:
Arlington wrote:A side thought: if Virginia is looking for further upgrade service via Charlottesville, and were looking to push new service outward from CVS, I'd say that running a train on the Buckingham Branch (the Cardinal's Route) would make good sense, reaching the 120,000 people of greater Staunton-Waynesboro (and perhaps drawing some James Madison U folks down from Harrisonburg) and onward to terminate at Clifton Forge (and serve the Homestead and tourism).

That'd give Amtrak really strong, Interstate-Accessible termini along the Blue Ridge, and maximize population per train-hour and track mile.

Interesting proposal worthy of some discussion. Without establishing a new crew base, the further west a train could go is are und 4 hours, which allows the same crew to return over the next 4 hours. Looking at the Cardinal’s schedule, 4 hours west of Charlottesville will be around Anderson, WV. Hinton, WV would be too far away. Station VA is just an hour away fro. Charlottesville. Are there an Amfleet Amtrak regional train available that could be used? The Cardinal visits Staunton at 2 pm and 3 pm, very good times 3 times per week in both directions. What Station needs more is daily service from the Cardinal, to another train like the Hoosier State the other 4 days a week.

I think Charlottesville is a crew away base, no crew actually based there. However . the Cardinals crew is there for at least 24 hours on non Cardinal days , so they could run a service on those days
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Re: Lynchburg VA NE Regional (ext. to Roanoke and Bristol)

Postby Arlington » Fri Oct 20, 2017 4:27 pm

The Virginia Museum of Transportation will be offering private railcar trips Nov 10 ~ 13 (attached to the new NERs 145/147/171 156/176) as a celebration of Amtrak's return:
http://www.vmt.org/event/november-priva ... xcursions/
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Re: Lynchburg VA NE Regional (ext. to Roanoke and Bristol)

Postby Arlington » Tue Oct 31, 2017 4:36 pm

I thought I'd quote and re-post Mr Weaver's post here too, in the "thread of record"
Noel Weaver wrote:The first Amtrak train departed Roanoke this morning with over 240 passengers. This spells success. Congrats to all concerned. This is the type of passenger train expansion that is needed in this country. Not more overnight trains crossing Ohio or trying to run trains where there is no state financial support coming. Good reading and good listening. Here is the link:

https://www.wsls.com/news/virginia/roan ... e-platform

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Re: Lynchburg VA NE Regional (ext. to Roanoke and Bristol)

Postby east point » Tue Oct 31, 2017 5:45 pm

248 persons does not indicate how many will travel on a daily basis. Hope the number is high but will wait and see ? Weekend departures and arrivals will be most interesting !
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Re: Lynchburg VA NE Regional (ext. to Roanoke and Bristol)

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Tue Oct 31, 2017 6:54 pm

Might someone tell that Local NBC reporter that trains depart rather than take off.
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Re: Lynchburg VA NE Regional (ext. to Roanoke and Bristol)

Postby Matt Johnson » Tue Oct 31, 2017 7:58 pm

east point wrote:248 persons does not indicate how many will travel on a daily basis. Hope the number is high but will wait and see ? Weekend departures and arrivals will be most interesting !


Based on my experience with buses and airlines during my undergrad days in the 90s, I expect sellout crowds of Hokies on the train during peak travel periods.

Watching the southbound run on Amtrak's train tracker, so far the train has maxed out at 51 mph on the new Lynchburg - Roanoke segment. High speed it is not, but I suppose that's getting into the mountains.
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Re: Lynchburg VA NE Regional (ext. to Roanoke and Bristol)

Postby east point » Tue Oct 31, 2017 8:40 pm

Matt Johnson wrote:[ I expect sellout crowds of Hokies on the train during peak travel periods.


Do not forget that the Lynchburg train was often close to sell out without Roanoke passengers. Those persons will still be making reservations so unless more cars can be found there will be problems .
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Re: Lynchburg VA NE Regional (ext. to Roanoke and Bristol)

Postby Matt Johnson » Tue Oct 31, 2017 8:47 pm

east point wrote:
Do not forget that the Lynchburg train was often close to sell out without Roanoke passengers. Those persons will still be making reservations so unless more cars can be found there will be problems .


Yeah, I've always thought that the problem with adding the VT crowd to an already popular train is probably too little capacity!

And the train is up to 57 mph now as it approaches Roanoke. Don't think it's gonna break 60! :) North of Lynchburg there is a good amount of 70 to 79 mph running though.
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Re: Lynchburg VA NE Regional (ext. to Roanoke and Bristol)

Postby Matt Johnson » Tue Oct 31, 2017 8:51 pm

Ok, 60 mph! :)
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Re: Lynchburg VA NE Regional (ext. to Roanoke and Bristol)

Postby gokeefe » Tue Oct 31, 2017 8:56 pm

The map makes the train look like some kind of explorer in the wilderness. "Headed out yonder" ...

Unreal.

Here's the coverage from Bristol of the local delegation's attendance in Roanoke at yesterday's cermonies:

BRISTOL, Va. — A Twin City delegation attended Monday’s ceremony welcoming Amtrak to Roanoke, in a continuing effort to try and attract passenger rail service here.

Bristol Virginia Councilman Archie Hubbard and Vice Mayor Kevin Wingard attended the noon ceremony along with members of the city’s planning staff, Bristol Tennessee planner Rex Montgomery and other Twin City residents who belong to the local rail coalition.

The coalition and Bristol, Virginia have been working with the state of Virginia and Amtrak to try and extend passenger service to and through Bristol.

“We wanted Amtrak to know we’re still interested,” Hubbard said Monday. “We were afraid if we didn’t go they might think there wasn’t much interest. They announced Bristol several times as interested parties that were there today.”
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Re: Lynchburg VA NE Regional (ext. to Roanoke and Bristol)

Postby diburning » Wed Nov 01, 2017 12:54 am

I was present for the media event and was booked on the inaugural train. Here's my trip report:

I read an announcement saying that Amtrak was extending the Lynchburg service of Northeast Regional train to Roanoke on Halloween 2017. I've flown on inaugural flights, and have attended inaugural transportation infrastructure opening ceremonies, and find it exciting to witness the event in person.

When I first booked my ticket, Amtrak was still selling this as a Thruway Connection. I read that the Thruway service was to cease operations the day before the inaugural train, so I booked with the confidence that I would be rebooked onto the train service once Amtrak put in the schedule change. Business Class was a very small upcharge ($7 difference) so I opted for the Business Class ticket.

On Monday Oct 30, the day before service began, I went to the train station to catch the "media special" train that Amtrak was operating that day for publicity purposes. After the media detrained and set up, the inaugural ceremony began.

Being unfamiliar with Virginian elected officials, I did not remember everyone's names. If the photo is missing a caption, that's because I don't remember who they are!

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Roanoke Mayor Sherman Lea

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Virginia Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Layne

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Virginia State Senator John Edwards

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A view of the station platform.

After the speeches, a ribbon cutting took place, but I couldn't get any photos of that since the media swarmed the stage. The event staff had the engineer blow the horn on the locomotive as the ribbon was cut.

After the ceremony, the train was open to the public for tours. That's when I realized that Amtrak was not completely honest in the impression that they were trying to give the media. The train consisted of the locomotive, three Business Class cars, a cafe car, and Amtrak's executive office car, Beech Grove.

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The interior of the Business Class cars were reconfigured, contained the new upholstery, and were scrubbed clean.

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They also installed tables at the ends of each car, four tables per end. These tables appear to be brand new. Regular reupholstered Business Class cars do not have these tables as far as I know (the one I had going back did not)

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The cafe car was also the cleanest one I've ever seen, and they put tablecloths on the tables to make it look nicer.

On the next day, on Halloween, I boarded the train, and was slightly disappointed to see that Amtrak did absolutely nothing (for the passengers) to celebrate the inaugural train. The crew seemed very cheery, but that's because they operated with a double crew of six conductors. I bet they also had to be cheery because the media took over the cafe car and was going up and down the train taking photos and shooting footage. For me, it was an uneventful six hour ride to Baltimore where I got off the train, boarded a plane, and flew home.
Last edited by diburning on Wed Nov 01, 2017 9:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Lynchburg VA NE Regional (ext. to Roanoke and Bristol)

Postby east point » Wed Nov 01, 2017 5:36 am

Only makes sense that Amtrak was " Putting on the Ritz "
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Re: Lynchburg VA NE Regional (ext. to Roanoke and Bristol)

Postby Matt Johnson » Wed Nov 01, 2017 11:18 am

Looks like the first revenue train had the upgraded coach seats as well though. Gotta say, those spruced up Amfleets look pretty nice!

http://www.roanoke.com/news/local/roano ... 058f7.html
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