Amtrak NEC Virginia Regional Service

Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

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east point
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Re: Expanded Virginia Regional Service

Post by east point » Tue Feb 19, 2019 9:59 pm

Back in the pre Amtrak days there was an overnight sleeper that originated in Bristol - ROA switched trains and continued to Petersburg -then Richmond. Coach passenger from Bristol - Roanoke changed trains in Roanoke. So at one time there was the demand always to go to Richmond the capitol and other places.

Arlington
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Re: Expanded Virginia Regional Service

Post by Arlington » Tue Feb 19, 2019 10:25 pm

I've generally believed that at midday and weekends (or whenever Tidewater & Richmond traffic is "penetrable"/"moderate") that they should run Thruways to/from RVM & RVR to connect with its now-extensive NEC/SIlvermetto service, like a 10am, Noon, & 2pm and an 8pm in each direction, and extensions to/from CVS as long as everything is safely off the roads between 4pm and 8pm.

NPN-RVx is 2 hour
RVx-CVS is 1 hour
"Trying to solve congestion by making roadways wider is like trying to solve obesity by buying bigger pants."--Charles Marohn

Joke Insurance
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Re: Expanded Virginia Regional Service

Post by Joke Insurance » Fri Mar 22, 2019 10:53 am

Are there any plans for NS to add second tracks along the NS Piedmont Division between Manassas and Charlottesville where there are sections that are single tracked? That could be beneficial for adding more service for Charlottesville, Lynchburg, and Roanoke.

Arlington
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Re: Expanded Virginia Regional Service

Post by Arlington » Fri Mar 22, 2019 2:36 pm

I thought only the B-Line from Manassas to front Royal had single tracking, where are the whole rest of the NS Crescent corridor was double tracked. Sounds like I'm wrong?
"Trying to solve congestion by making roadways wider is like trying to solve obesity by buying bigger pants."--Charles Marohn

east point
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Re: Expanded Virginia Regional Service

Post by east point » Fri Mar 22, 2019 3:09 pm

Arlington wrote:I thought only the B-Line from Manassas to front Royal had single tracking, where are the whole rest of the NS Crescent corridor was double tracked. Sounds like I'm wrong?
Yes Of course NS would want money to re install the 2 main tracks. When SOU installed CTC they took many sections of second track up.

Joke Insurance
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Re: Expanded Virginia Regional Service

Post by Joke Insurance » Sat Mar 23, 2019 1:33 am

east point wrote:Yes Of course NS would want money to re install the 2 main tracks. When SOU installed CTC they took many sections of second track up.
Why did they remove those sections after installing CTC? I thought that having a second track would be more purposeful after a CTC installation.

And just out of curiosity, when were those sections removed?

Joke Insurance
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Re: Expanded Virginia Regional Service

Post by Joke Insurance » Sat Mar 23, 2019 1:36 am

Arlington wrote:I thought only the B-Line from Manassas to front Royal had single tracking
Have there been active talks to adding a second track along the B-Line, in addition to straightening out any sharp curves?

east point
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Re: Expanded Virginia Regional Service

Post by east point » Sat Mar 23, 2019 1:06 pm

Joke Insurance wrote:
east point wrote:Yes Of course NS would want money to re install the 2 main tracks. When SOU installed CTC they took many sections of second track up.
Why did they remove those sections after installing CTC? I thought that having a second track would be more purposeful after a CTC installation.

And just out of curiosity, when were those sections removed?
The business that sold the RRs on CTC maintained that a RR could carry 75 - 100% of the traffic with just the CTC sidings. Of course that has not proved to be the case due to different speed trains, now longer trains ( some that will no longer fit in some shorter sidings), the need to shut down single track sections for regular maintenance, break downs on single track sections, 2 man crews 9 no caboose ), and now PSR.

ExCon90
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Re: Expanded Virginia Regional Service

Post by ExCon90 » Sat Mar 23, 2019 1:44 pm

I thought the Southern used a 5-and-5 policy of having 5 miles of single track, 5 of two main tracks, 5 more single track, and so on, making nonstop meets easier to accomplish. I think the IC did the same south of Homewood or thereabouts? Of course the whole idea would make sense only if the existing double-track line was underutilized at the time.

dgvrengineer
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Re: Expanded Virginia Regional Service

Post by dgvrengineer » Sat Mar 23, 2019 7:02 pm

The Southern main from Alexandria to Lynchburg used to be double tracked all the way. I think it was in the 80's when the second track was removed in places. It generally follows 5 to 10 miles double then 5 to 10 miles single with equilateral turnouts at the beginning and end good for 60 mph. Double track remains from Alexandria to just west of Manassas, I think its Bristow MP 36. My understanding is they wanted to do this all the way from Alexandria but the state of Virginia asked for double track to remain at least to Manassas for the planned commuter service. I'm sure Virginia paid something for the double track to remain.

Arlington
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Re: Expanded Virginia Regional Service

Post by Arlington » Wed Jul 17, 2019 2:09 pm

Virginia DRPT has chosen to overlay a bus onto the US 29 Corridor (and tie to Dulles). I can't find anything at www.drpt.virginia.gov, but this is a good picture and Blog:Virginia plans two new cross-state bus lines, citing success of Blacksburg-D.C. route

Full Size Image

Danville-DC
You'll notice that it overlays the Crescent all the way from Danville, but pops up to Dulles before going into DC. New Cities (non-Amtrak) served along the Crescent Route include AltaVista, Amherst, Lovingston, Warrenton & Gainesville. To me, this all feels like making it easier for "College Kids" in Lynchburg and C'Ville to get to/from "home" along US 29. (My daughter, at UVa will definitely use it to visit family in NoVa and to come home to Boston (probably by air, but Acela would be facilitated too). If scheduled at "non Rush" times (like the original I-81 bus was) it should move along pretty well. It is unclear whether this pre-empts or pre-proves demand for additional LYH trains I'd generally say it should be (1) symbiotic with the Cardinal/Crescent/Roanoker but (2) tap off a lot of demand that'd otherwise be important to an additional train's success and (3) But if they can schedule trains that cut through rush hour, that'd be helpful but (4) as I-66 gets HOT lanes, a bus is going to be pretty effective at beating other road travel.

At the right time Danville to DC is a 4 hour drive. Add another hour for stops and you're still about on the Crescent's schedule (5h10m from Danville to WAS).

Martinsville-Richmond
Starting in Martinsville VA is bizarre. Seems like an old-fashioned "fills a hole in the network" but I'd say the hole is there because there's no population out there. Maybe there's some kind of Civil Rights need to balance the network? Touching the college town of Hampden Sydney is seems to be the anchor of the whole route.

[EDIT: it is not bizarre, but I think I'm right about Civil Rights, specifically Title VI, being the reason. More below]


Image

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 requires:
no person in the United States shall on the grounds of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination under any program or activity for which DRPT receives federal financial assistance.
Since they are using Federal $ for this, I suspect they had to rebalance their network with race in mind, and Martinsburg and South Boston (and Danville) seem to have the desired mix of Black housholds
Image
"Trying to solve congestion by making roadways wider is like trying to solve obesity by buying bigger pants."--Charles Marohn

Arlington
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Re: Expanded Virginia Regional Service

Post by Arlington » Wed Jul 17, 2019 3:05 pm

Hypothetical VA Breeze Schedule:
Recall that the northbound Crescent departs DAN at 4:43a, and then LYH-WAS depart northbound at 5:56a and 6:19a

That really invites a Bus that does something like
8:00a DAN Amtrak
8:50a Altalvista
9:25a LYH Amtrak
9:55a Amherst VA
10:15a Lovingston VA
11:00a CVS Amtrak
12:10p CLP Amtrak
12:40p Warrenton Park and Ride
13:05p Gainesville Park and Ride
13:30p Dulles Airport
14:00p West Falls Church Metro
14:30p Union Station

This puts the whole bus about 3 to 4 hours behind the Crescent and on basically the same metabolism as the I-81 bus.

And we know that they also like having the Southbound departure at about 9:20am, and thereby avoids rush hours everywhere and gets you to Danville at (roughly) 4pm

I'd also expect them to do a Friday PM northbound (leaving Danville at 1pm, LYH at 2:30p), and it is interesting when to do the Sunday Southbound, since trains 145 and 19, departing tat4:50 and 6:30p, basically have the slot that the "5pm" Bus would take.
"Trying to solve congestion by making roadways wider is like trying to solve obesity by buying bigger pants."--Charles Marohn

mtuandrew
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Re: Expanded Virginia Regional Service

Post by mtuandrew » Wed Jul 17, 2019 4:22 pm

Arlington: seems like it would be obvious to start the Martinsville bus in Greensboro, if NC would agree to throw a few dollars to VA DRPT.

Arlington
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Re: Expanded Virginia Regional Service

Post by Arlington » Thu Jul 18, 2019 12:12 pm

mtuandrew wrote:
Wed Jul 17, 2019 4:22 pm
Arlington: seems like it would be obvious to start the Martinsville bus in Greensboro, if NC would agree to throw a few dollars to VA DRPT.
My sense is that cost-sharing is easy for trains (since you already have Amtrak as operator and PRIIA as framework) but might be hard for Buses.

I'm going to guess that VA is happier to not coordinate with DC on the terminal leg from West Falls Church to/from DC and probably doesn't even have a mechanism for coordinating bus with NC.

I'd also bet that if Virginia paid 100% (1) nobody'd have a problem with it and (2) it would probably be good for farebox recovery and all passengers concerned.
"Trying to solve congestion by making roadways wider is like trying to solve obesity by buying bigger pants."--Charles Marohn

Balerion
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Re: Amtrak NEC Virginia Regional Service

Post by Balerion » Sun Sep 15, 2019 9:11 am

There are plans for some sort of increased bus service between Petersburg's downtown bus station and the local train station in Ettrick.

https://www.progress-index.com/news/201 ... in-station
Petersburg Area Transit announced Wednesday that it has expanded its Ettrick bus service now to include a stop at the Amtrak station, a move not only complementing the planned park-and-ride facility that will go up beside the bus station but also cementing the future viability of a train terminal once targeted earlier this year for total replacement.

In a statement released Wednesday morning, PAT general manager Charles L. Koonce Jr. said the new route makes the Petersburg Multi-Modal Station on West Washington Street more of a “true” location “where residents can access any place in the country from right here in Petersburg.” The PAT bus will leave downtown at 15 minutes after the top of the hour for the 17-minute ride to the Amtrak station.

The Ettrick/Virginia State University/Amtrak route will run daily between 6:15 a.m. and 6:15 p.m. The final bus of each day will arrive at the Amtrak station at 6:32 p.m.

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