• $66 Billion Infrastructure bill - Effects on VRE

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

Moderators: mtuandrew, therock, Robert Paniagua

  by danib62
 
I mean it has $66 billion dollars for rail nationwide, not just VRE.
  by KTHW
 
If we’re trying to get the money to “shovel ready” projects in the greater Baltimore-DC area, then I think these would be the top 5.

1. B&P Tunnel replacement
2. New Long Bridge and adjoining 4 track sections
3. Finish the Purple Line
4. WAS Modernization
5. RF&P 3rd track

VRE (and a lot of others) would directly benefit from 2,4,5.
  by STrRedWolf
 
The bill has an indirect benefit for VRE as well, operationally. There's money for Amtrak to buy replacement NEC trainsets including dual-mode (diesel/electric) engines (discussed in the Amtrak forum).

What does that mean for VRE? Well, that cuts 20 minutes from Amtrak tying up the entire First Street Tunnel for swapping out engines, because they can switch to diesel then and there with minimal delay. That frees up some slots for VRE to add more trains or even have MARC run through.
  by Pensyfan19
 
In terms of VRE, tell them to expand to Richmond, or form a new line from Fredericksburg to Richmond.
  by kitchin
 
VRE operates on a multi-county funding agreement or tax district. I forgot about that myself somewhere here.
  by scratchyX1
 
STrRedWolf wrote: Wed Nov 17, 2021 8:00 am The bill has an indirect benefit for VRE as well, operationally. There's money for Amtrak to buy replacement NEC trainsets including dual-mode (diesel/electric) engines (discussed in the Amtrak forum).

What does that mean for VRE? Well, that cuts 20 minutes from Amtrak tying up the entire First Street Tunnel for swapping out engines, because they can switch to diesel then and there with minimal delay. That frees up some slots for VRE to add more trains or even have MARC run through.
Good point, as now only one track is needed for lower platform run through NEC trains.
Which means actual run-through agreements and planning is no longer a can to keep kicking.
(Perhaps its time for the agencies to discuss joint DMU orders)
  by Shortline614
 
Pensyfan19 wrote: Wed Nov 17, 2021 9:13 am In terms of VRE, tell them to expand to Richmond, or form a new line from Fredericksburg to Richmond.
Richmond has been looking into commuter rail which is being covered in another thread. Perhaps that could be operated by VRE? There is need for VRE to extend to Richmond when we already have Amtrak. It would be a useless duplication of service at that point.

In terms of VRE, any money they receive from the infrastructure bill should go towards the second bridge over the Potomac River. All improvements south of there would mean nothing since the current Long Bridge is at capacity.
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
VRE doesn't need to extend from Spotsylvania to Richmond. Right now, the Amtrak service between the Northeast and Richmond is almost like its own commuter service. Eventually, more Amtrak trips will be added south of DC making an hourly schedule pattern. Extending VRE to Richmond would probably be like saying let's extend Metro North from Poughkeepsie to Albany, NY. I think there are many people living along the former RF&P who wouldn't mind paying some extra for an Amtrak ticket over VRE fares. If VRE wants to run daily service down to Spotsylvania, then that's fine too-just when the capacity improvements get closer to being finished.
  by scratchyX1
 
Or perhaps Richmond area regional rail service is launched under the vre organization, as a different contract, using different gear.
Double decker cars would be overkill.
  by STrRedWolf
 
I think trial service with MARC IIA/B equipment would be the first step for commuter service down to Richmond. If it grows, VRE can switch to double decker equipment.
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
Commuter rail service for the Richmond area would be worth looking into if let's say there is a right of way that runs from suburbs to Richmond that would provide conventional speeds plus not be the former RF&P tracks. Just remember that even after more Amtrak trains get added to the former RF&P, CSX still has to share those same tracks with Amtrak in many spots as that's still one of their very busiest routes up and down the East Coast. There will still be parts of the former RF&P that will be two tracks like through Ashland, VA.
  by west point
 
That is the reason of the planned new CSX siding north of Ashland on the west of present track..