Virginia Avenue Tunnel project

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Virginia Avenue Tunnel project

Postby Arlington » Wed Oct 17, 2012 11:26 am

This is a thread that I hope will keep current on the project to double-track and double-stack (width and clearance, respectively) the 1912-vintage single-track, single-stack Virginia Avenue tunnel in SW Washington DC.

The official site is here:
http://virginiaavenuetunnel.com/
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Re: Virginia Avenue Tunnel project

Postby EuroStar » Wed Oct 24, 2012 7:40 pm

I believe that the tunnel was double tracked in the past -- at least that is the impression that the handouts on the website give. It was probably single tracked with the track shifted to the middle to allow for greater clearance, but still not enough for double-stack cars.

I also read somewhere that they could not just dig deeper because of the water table in the area. Does someone know more about this?
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Re: Virginia Avenue Tunnel project

Postby Arlington » Wed Oct 24, 2012 11:12 pm

EuroStar wrote:I believe that the tunnel was double tracked in the past -- at least that is the impression that the handouts on the website give. It was probably single tracked with the track shifted to the middle to allow for greater clearance, but still not enough for double-stack cars.

Correct, way back it was constructed as a two-track tunnel with an arching roof (resulting in unused ceiling height down the middle).

As trains got taller, trains on either of the two tracks ran the risk of scraping their tops on the arch's sides. So the fast/cheap solution (when you can lower the floor and underpin the sides some-but-not-enough) is to put a single track down the center and take advantage of the clearance at the top of the arch.

It might be the water table that keeps them from lowering the floor more. Other good reasons are if the wall is too fragile to undermine/underpin more, of if the tunnel is not aging well, is too narrow, or has too many other compromises that make a whole new tunnel a better value than fixing the old one.
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Re: Virginia Avenue Tunnel project

Postby jlr3266 » Thu Oct 25, 2012 10:36 am

Wow, that is a narrow tunnel. I can see using soil improvement and secant piles to lower the rails, but the tunnel would still need to be rehabilitated and relined. To get two tracks would be a real feat. A new tunnel would be easier.
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Re: Virginia Avenue Tunnel project

Postby Arlington » Thu Oct 25, 2012 11:50 am

jlr3266 wrote:Wow, that is a narrow tunnel. I can see using soil improvement and secant piles to lower the rails, but the tunnel would still need to be rehabilitated and relined. To get two tracks would be a real feat. A new tunnel would be easier.


...and cheaper in the long run (at least as the public site implies). They seem to say "why spend X to fix a 100 year old tunnel that might last another 40 years when 2X would get a tunnel that would last another 100 and be better/safer and cheaper to maintain"
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Re: Virginia Avenue Tunnel project

Postby mmi16 » Sat Oct 27, 2012 3:44 pm

Virgina Ave tunnel is the low point of the area - during heavy rain periods water accumulates in the tunnel, rarely getting above the top of the rail but sufficient to active the track circuit until the water recedes.
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Re: Virginia Avenue Tunnel project

Postby mmi16 » Thu Apr 09, 2015 11:58 am

Court has rejected the 'Committee of 100's request for a injunction to stop reconstruction of the Virginia Ave. Tunnel

http://www.jdland.com/dc/pastnews.cfm?nearsecat=csx
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Re: Virginia Avenue Tunnel project

Postby Arlington » Thu Apr 09, 2015 12:17 pm

mmi16 wrote:Court has rejected the 'Committee of 100's request for a injunction to stop reconstruction of the Virginia Ave. Tunnel
http://www.jdland.com/dc/pastnews.cfm?nearsecat=csx

Yippee! More details from Washington Post's Dr Grdlock column.
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Re: Virginia Avenue Tunnel project

Postby mmi16 » Thu Apr 09, 2015 2:42 pm

Arlington wrote:
mmi16 wrote:Court has rejected the 'Committee of 100's request for a injunction to stop reconstruction of the Virginia Ave. Tunnel
http://www.jdland.com/dc/pastnews.cfm?nearsecat=csx

Yippee! More details from Washington Post's Dr Grdlock column.


The heart of the matter
The Court concludes the balance of the equities tips decidedly in the Defendants’ favor, and particularly towards the public interest. As discussed above, the Committee’s contentions that a new tunnel will lead to more accidents and a greater risk of terrorist attack are speculative at best. And with the exception of the removal of some 200 trees, the Committee has not established that any environmental effects of the construction activity will be severe or irreparable. Moreover, although the construction inevitably will be disruptive and unsightly, the Committee has identified only one of its members who will be directly affected.
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Re: Virginia Avenue Tunnel project

Postby srepetsk » Sun Jun 21, 2015 2:47 pm

June project updates: http://virginiaavenuetunnel.com/sites/default/files/Coffee%20with%20Chuck%20Presentation%20(June%2017,%202015)_0.pdf

Recent activity:
• Virginia Avenue, 2nd Street to 3rd Street: Pepco Relocation Work
• 4th Street & Virginia Avenue: Verizon Ductbank Relocation
• 7th Street & Virginia Avenue: Washington Gas Cut and Cap
• 8th Street & Virginia Avenue: Verizon Ductbank Relocation
• Virginia Avenue, 6th Street to 7th Street: Tree Removal
• Virginia Avenue Park: Fencing
• South Tunnel Portal: Piles for the Retaining Wall & Lagging Installation for Support of Excavation
• East of 11th Street: Clearing & Support of Excavation Pile Installation
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Re: Virginia Avenue Tunnel project

Postby srepetsk » Fri Jul 24, 2015 6:59 am

July project updates: http://virginiaavenuetunnel.com/sites/d ... n72315.pdf

Recent activity:
-South Tunnel Portal; excavation for retaining wall - tie back installation
-Virginia Avenue, 2nd-3rd Street: Grading for Pepco Relocation
-Virginia Avenue, 2nd-3rd Street: Fence Installation and Road Closure
-Virginia Avenue, 4th-5th Street: Fence Installation
-Virginia Avenue, 4th to 5th Street: Pre-Construction Activities and Drill Rig Mobilization
-Virginia Avenue Park: Second Drill Rig Mobilization
-East of 11th Street: Support of Excavation Pile Installation
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Re: Virginia Avenue Tunnel project

Postby rr503 » Fri Jul 24, 2015 7:00 pm

Slightly of topic, but how many trains run through the tunnel on a weekday?
Thanks in advance!
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Re: Virginia Avenue Tunnel project

Postby srepetsk » Sat Jul 25, 2015 7:24 am

rr503 wrote:Slightly of topic, but how many trains run through the tunnel on a weekday?
Thanks in advance!

According to this article (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/tra ... story.html), 20-30 trains per day use the tunnel, however according to WUSA9 (http://www.wusa9.com/story/news/local/d ... /10421673/), 8 per day go through the tunnel.
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Re: Virginia Avenue Tunnel project

Postby roberttosh » Sat Jul 25, 2015 10:21 pm

There's 6-8 intermodal trains, 8 or so manifest trains and some unit trains (Tropicana, coal, grain and crude?). I'd say @ 20 per day is a good guesstimate.
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Re: Virginia Avenue Tunnel project

Postby rr503 » Sun Jul 26, 2015 8:42 am

Great!
Thanks guys!
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