hi55us wrote:could it be routed south past newport news to norfolk?
Not without a crazy underwater tunnel. Newport News is on the north/west/inland side of the Hampton Roads harbor. Norfolk is on the south/east/Virginia beach side. Train access would require an underwater tunnel. Today two vehicular tunnels span the harbor (motivated by a desire to permit unfettered Naval movements).
Mike77E9 wrote:I actually wonder if the Newport News train will continue to run, or if that train will get rerouted to Norfolk...
NN doesn't really have enough service to warrant (or "fund") a diversion, and is big enough to keep what it has. The Newport News peninsula (home to Jamestown, Yorktown, Williamsburg, etc. and PHF airport) has about 600k people (admittedly, just 1/3 of the Norfolk-Hampton Roads metro) and is served by PHF Airport (the smaller, less-served one). Amtrak currently terminates NEC trains on this side. Still, at 600k people, it would be the 4rd largest metro in Virginia (behind NoVa at 2.5m, Richmond at 1.1m and Norfolk at 1m), and far ahead of #5 and #6, Roanoke at 300k and Lynchburg 240k. Hampton trains pass through Richmond, and get to DC in 4h 20m
JackRussell wrote:But will there actually be a new train? My guess is that they will just extend an existing train that currently terminates in Richmond.
Yes, but its not like there's a whole lot of extra Richmond trains to extend. It might take a train that terminates in DC, but would be worth extending through Richmond to get to Norfolk.The south (Portsmouth-Norfolk-Virginia Beach) side is home to about 1m people (2/3 of the combined Norfolk-Hampton Roads metro population) and home the busier airport (ORF). As noted above, it is a close rival to Richmond as the #2 metro in the state (even with Newport News metro excluded). I think part of the reason to connect it to the system is to build ridership to support more Richmond trains. Travel time is projected to be 1h 38m from Norfolk to RVR (Richmond Staples Mill) and then 2h 08m to DC (3h 42m total...definitely faster if you live on the south side of the water, but not necessarily better than 4:20 if you happen to live on the north side.