VRE's 11mi of High Speed Rail (Arkendale - Powell's Creek)

Discussion related to DC area passenger rail services from Northern Virginia to Baltimore, MD. Includes Light Rail and Baltimore Subway.

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Re: VRE's 11mi of High Speed Rail (Arkendale - Powell's Cree

Postby Jersey_Mike » Tue May 17, 2011 7:00 am

MAS for now is 70.....I don't know what CSX's hangup is with raising it.....


For CSX if it ain't slow, it ain't railroading. There is no reason that the RF&P can't be an 80mph line as is, but as can be expected CSX won't spend a dime for improvements that don't directly benefit it so look for that 70 to stay up until another grant comes through to fund the changes to the grade crossing and signaling equipment to facilitate higher speeds.
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Re: VRE's 11mi of High Speed Rail (Arkendale - Powell's Cree

Postby orulz » Fri May 27, 2011 11:18 am

Any word on how negotiations with CSX are going? I'm pretty sure that's the holdup for this project.
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Re: VRE's 11mi of High Speed Rail (Arkendale - Powell's Cree

Postby Arlington » Wed Sep 14, 2011 3:33 pm

This project will be--and should be--held up to ridicule as a "shovel ready" project that "wasn't as shovel ready as we thought."

Regardless of whose "fault" it is, it is just plain wrong to sit on allocated money and not spend it for what is a 100% "paper" delay, and someplace else there's a project just as worthy but whose government, host railroad, and construction firms are more ready that isn't happening because the money is locked up here.
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Re: VRE's 11mi of High Speed Rail (Arkendale - Powell's Cree

Postby strench707 » Thu Sep 15, 2011 6:00 pm

What at this point is the major roadblock?

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Re: VRE's 11mi of High Speed Rail (Arkendale - Powell's Cree

Postby orulz » Thu Sep 15, 2011 6:23 pm

If nothing has changed, it is this:

(1) When Virginia applied for the stimulus funding, they had an agreement with CSX regarding train performance after this is built, including any consequences to CSX if expectations are not met
(2) FRA reviews this agreement and decides it is too lenient on CSX, and proposes new terms
(3) CSX balks at new terms proposed by FRA

Basically, either CSX or the FRA has to give, or else nothing will ever get built.
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Re: VRE's 11mi of High Speed Rail (Arkendale - Powell's Cree

Postby strench707 » Thu Sep 15, 2011 9:34 pm

And how long has this stalemate been going on for? The whole situation seems really just plain stupid if nothing is getting done. Have there been ongoing talks at least or has this one just been deferred indefinitely. It would have been really nice to see this one going in hand-in-hand with the triple tracking to Springfield.

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Re: VRE's 11mi of High Speed Rail (Arkendale - Powell's Cree

Postby surytcw » Fri Nov 04, 2011 10:40 pm

This is now listed as "canceled" on VRE's procurement page.
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Re: VRE's 11mi of High Speed Rail (Arkendale - Powell's Cree

Postby strench707 » Sun Nov 06, 2011 4:55 pm

Which page is that? It says "Preliminary Design" on the project page?

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Re: VRE's 11mi of High Speed Rail (Arkendale - Powell's Cree

Postby surytcw » Sun Nov 06, 2011 7:14 pm

The procurement page: http://www.vre.org/about/procurement.htm - "DESIGN-BUILD FOR THE ARKENDALE-POWELLS CREEK (CHERRY HILL) THIRD TRACK PROJECT"

I don't think the actual project page has been updated for a while.
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Re: VRE's 11mi of High Speed Rail (Arkendale - Powell's Cree

Postby strench707 » Tue Nov 08, 2011 10:38 pm

Ah I see. Why did this happen?! This would have been an amazing improvement to the line!

They don't seem to be offering much information as to why they did this....

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Re: VRE's 11mi of High Speed Rail (Arkendale - Powell's Cree

Postby therock » Sun Nov 27, 2011 12:50 am

strench707 wrote:They don't seem to be offering much information as to why they did this....

Davis


Orulz pretty much summed it up - the "Services Outcome Agreement" in the High-Speed Rail grants has been a sticking point for many agreements with the Class I railroads and the FRA (who distributes the grants from the High-Speed Rail bucket). FRA had been insisting that certain on-time performance improvements must be met and maintained above the current levels, or the Class I is to reimburse the monies from the grant. Many of the Class I and even some commuter operators have balked at this, so it will continue to be a challenge to finalize some of these agreements.

In general, the TIGER grants are more attractive to the railroads - their requirements are not as stringent, but the competition from other highway, transit, and air projects is much heavier.
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Re: VRE's 11mi of High Speed Rail (Arkendale - Powell's Cree

Postby Arlington » Sat Mar 17, 2012 2:38 pm

The Washington Examiner has the latest about this unstimulating stimulus:
$75 million stimulus Northern Virginia rail project held up over feuding
...more than two years after the U.S. Department of Transportation issued the grant, it remains unbuilt. And the clock is ticking. The $75 million must be released by Sept. 30 or the money is lost, returned to the pool of stimulus funds. Various agencies are pointing fingers at each other for who is to blame.

The Federal Railroad Administration says the remaining negotiations are between Virginia officials and CSX Corp., the freight company that owns the rail line. But Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation Director Thelma Drake said, "We do believe the disagreement is between the FRA and CSX." Drake said Virginia officials haven't met with FRA officials since February 2011, and multiple meetings since have been canceled.
...
"We do have an agreement with CSX that Virginia is comfortable with," Drake said.
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Re: VRE's 11mi of High Speed Rail (Arkendale - Powell's Cree

Postby Arlington » Thu Jul 12, 2012 10:50 pm

So CSX is happy to add a 3rd track in Spotsylvania from Crossroads /XR north, but has stalled for 3 years on Arkendale - Powell's Creek. Are the fed rules that much more onerous that the XR deal was "easy" and the Stimulus one is impossible?
"Trying to solve congestion by making roadways wider is like trying to solve obesity by buying bigger pants."--Charles Marohn
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Re: VRE's 11mi of High Speed Rail (Arkendale - Powell's Cree

Postby orulz » Fri Jul 13, 2012 9:04 am

Presumably so. They fed rules are very strict that if performance improvement standards aren't met for passenger trains, the host railroad will have to pay some very stiff penalties.
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Re: VRE's 11mi of High Speed Rail (Arkendale - Powell's Cree

Postby Jersey_Mike » Wed Jul 18, 2012 12:49 pm

CSX doesn't want to set a precedent of providing high quality passenger service. Other state might start demanding the same. Image
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