• SEHSR Southeast High Speed Rail Corridor

  • General discussion of passenger rail systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.
General discussion of passenger rail systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.

Moderators: mtuandrew, gprimr1

  by srepetsk
Well, all 1141 pages of the Tier II EIS for Richmond-Raleigh is out: https://www.fra.dot.gov/Elib/Document/15274" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
The preferred alternative apparently comes with a cost of ~$4billion (http://www.richmond.com/news/virginia/a ... e6f55.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;) and cuts the trip to near 2 hours.
Happy reading...
  by Arlington
WaPo Dr Gridlock column: Plans for higher-speed rail between Washington and Richmond on track.

Goal is to get 123 mile trip in 90 minutes, Dr Gridlock says, down from curent 2h45m
  by electricron
Even the columnist got it right
"highER instead of high"

I just can visualize 90 mph maximum speeds as high speed rail. Does anyone?
  by Arlington
I'd accept 110 has "high speed" if I had to. Higher is probably the right term for 90 to 125.

I know that folks here like to to push a global definition of High Speed as defined by France or Japan or China, but I'd rather focus on offering travel that's faster than competing modes (beating cars and planes), particularly if it meant that a trainset that does 125mph (or one day more?) on the NEC can then swap engines at DC and do 110mph for the rest of its trip. That'd be a lot like the early TGV that only sometimes ran at high speeds on trunk lines before just being a convenient orange train on the branches.
  by mtuandrew
Wanna put in your comments on improvements to the RF&P corridor? http://www.dc2rvarail.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; has an "online meeting" until Jan 8, 2016. I missed the in-person public comment sessions, unfortunately.
  by Arlington
VA Gov McAuliffe is touting something he calls the $1.4B Atlantic Gateway project.

Most of the project seems to be adding tolled HOT lanes (High Occupancy & Toll), extending those along I-95 northward from I-395 to the Pentagon, and southward along I-95 so that they reach all the way to Fredericksburg.

The five rail components of the plan are:
  • 3-tracking CSX RF&P from Franconia (~Metro/VRE Station) to Occoquan River (think of it as the first 8 to 10 miles south of the Beltway)
  • Improving ops south of Fredericsburg (crossovers?)
  • Virginia "dedicates" (buys for passenger priority) the S-Line from CSX from Petersburg to the NC border (it is already NC-owned south of there, or is it just abandonned?)
  • 4-tracking CSX RF&P from Long Bridge to Alexandria
  • Long Bridge Study & Engineering
Scattered other references include that the extra Long Bridge - Alexandria tracks would squeeze from CSX 2 additional round trips (one daily each for the Manassas and Fredericksburg lines.

So there's a lot for Amtrak Virginia (less CSX congestion) and VRE (real added trips) but the biggest seems to be acquiring Virginia's stretch of the S-Line so it can be dedicated to passenger service (or restored near the NC border, IIRC) and connected with the NC-owned portion of the S-Line.
  by Jeff Smith
The I-95 HOT lanes, especially SB, are great, right until they get to Dumfries and then end south of there, about Quantico I think. It sure would be nice if they expanded them down to Fredericksburg. Just an awful design. But if it pays for expanded service and capacity, and solves the $22 peak toll south of Dumfries, great! Man, that is one bad design.
  by David Benton
Just wondering why they don't just have 2 tracks for CSX , and 2 tracks for passenger, instead of 4 tracks for CSX/passenger. Seems to me it will be necessary for anything above 110 mph in the future anyway .
  by Arlington
David Benton wrote:Just wondering why they don't just have 2 tracks for CSX , and 2 tracks for passenger, instead of 4 tracks for CSX/passenger. Seems to me it will be necessary for anything above 110 mph in the future anyway .
I suppose we'll get there eventually, but the short-term answer is Money and that, for now, the intercity trains that can really use the speed are not yet numerous enough to "demand'/"justify" either 4 tracks or speeds above 90mph. As linked upthread, simple 79/90 mph running would cut WAS-RVR to just 123 miles in 1.5 hours (82 mph) vs the current 2h45 (45mph) which is probably enough to win serious market share (particulary considering the tolls on I95's less-congested lanes, or the congestion in the tolled lanes). A lot of the delay now is just stupid stuff, like waiting for a slot on the Long Bridge and taking 25 to 30 minutes to go from WAS to ALX (an 8 mile trip at a stately 16 mph).

And where they are going to have 4 tracks (the short, crowded run from the Potomac River to Alexandria), that isn't enough running room for speed to matter, but ops flexibility might matter more. (a stalled VRE being passed by a VRE stopping at Crystal City being passed by an Amtrak LD, as a freight moves the other way)
  by gokeefe
Take a note of this ....

Virginia is going to four track (for passenger capacity purposes) mile after mile of a corridor prior to ever installing so much as a single foot of electric cantenary or anything else that would support high speed operations. If this isn't a sign of things to come I don't know what is ...

I'm impressed ...
  by MattW
They're doubling capacity Long Bridge-Alexandria but only getting 4 more trains out of it? Talk about the raw end of the deal...
  by Arlington
Not quite. We're stuck with a CSX-controlled 2-track Long Bridge for the indefinite future--the Atlantic Gateway plan has no funds for construction (study and maybe some engineering).

What's getting the 4 more trains is the 3-tracking (south of the Beltway) and 4-tracking (in Arlington-Alexandria), which I'd guess will not only mean less passenger-freight interference, but also less congested, faster passage between ALX and WAS.
  by gokeefe
Very much agreed they're basically paying to vastly improve reliability and utility for the trains that use that corridor right now. That alone will help reduce congestion by increasing load factors.
  by Literalman
Virginia has no plans for high-speed rail between Washington and Richmond. The highest speed CSX will allow is 90, and the 11 miles of third track being built between Powell's Creek and Arkendale are engineered only for 79. However, VRE considers 55 to be high speed: it plays announcements warning passengers to watch out because there may be a high-speed train approaching the Quantico station, where to the best of my knowledge the limit is 55.
  by Arlington
It's official: the Altantic Gateway project is proceeding, as part of which the SEHSR corridor will see:
1) 14 miles of additional 3rd or 4th track*
2) Purchase of CSX's S-line within Virginia to connect with NC's part as passenger-priority route from Petersburg VA to Raleigh NC.

http://www.virginiadot.org/newsroom/sta ... 102651.asp" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

*I'm always suspicious when they claim "14 miles" which appear new happen to be the exact length of the projects currently underway (11 miles from Arkendale - Powells Creek, and two smaller ~2mi projects). But the illustration on page 4 here seems to confirm that the 14 promised here are truly new (10 miles Franconia - Occoquan and 4 miles Alexandria - the Potomac)
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