Amtrak NEC Virginia Regional Service

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Jersey_Mike
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Re: Another couple of trains for Virginia

Post by Jersey_Mike » Wed Oct 21, 2009 8:40 am

Having just traveled a round trip on the Crescent to Georgia next time I make the trip I am considering to break up the journey by using the Lynchburg Regional. Not only will it be less crowded ensuring a nice double seat to lay down on it will provide a layover in which to grab a bite to eat. Only problem is if a northbound Crescent is late I might miss the regional connection and have to either see if the Crescent crew will accept my ticket or necessitate the purchase of a protection ticket that I can exchange if unused.

It does seem odd to have Amtrak double barreling the two trains in the same direction, but it makes sense to try to shift the local traffic onto the Regional. Amtrak should go one farther and change the new "local" VA stations to R and D stops to ensure that local riders take the regional (or barring that use a significant price differential).

One side point, I always try to avoid 9x Regional trains because they are always more crowded (and slower, and later) than the 1xx Regionals that originate and terminate in DC. I wonder if the 171/176 trains will now suffer from these drawbacks.

Gilbert B Norman
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Re: Another couple of trains for Virginia

Post by Gilbert B Norman » Wed Oct 21, 2009 9:37 am

Jersey_Mike wrote:(or barring that use a significant price differential).
It appears that Amtrak is taking Mike's advice; look at the website for a sample itinerary such as i did with Phila to Lynchburg Nov 5. The price differential between using The Crescent and the new Regional service will be quite "noticeable".

Jersey_Mike
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Re: Another couple of trains for Virginia

Post by Jersey_Mike » Wed Oct 21, 2009 1:19 pm

It appears that Amtrak is taking Mike's advice; look at the website for a sample itinerary such as i did with Phila to Lynchburg Nov 5. The price differential between using The Crescent and the new Regional service will be quite "noticeable".
Wow, the Crescent seems to be on peak pricing through the end of the year. Much like produce at the supermarket the southern trains are definitely in season (in the demand sense), so if one is in the market for a railfan trip one should stick to the Chicago trains.

I really like that 10am departure of the new Regional as it connects well with the Crescent and allows one to travel most of the Southern Route in VA during the daylight. On the flip side I can connect the Carolinian to the southbound Crescent at Greensboro (or beyond). Both these moves put more of one's trip in the Daylight and minimize one's exposure to being hemmed into an Amfleet seat next to a "travel buddy". Both the 17x Regional and the Carolinian use the short haul Amfleets without the sleepers on the rear for low cost railfan viewing and you'll also have a greater chance of getting a seat pair to sack out in. Wow, I never thought having a friend in Georgia would be so advantageous.

BTW I checked if Amtrak was pulling it's old Keystone service trick where a ticket to Lewisville was cheaper than a ticket to Harrisburg due to demand and state subsidies and at least through DC and Baltimore there aren't. However for NEC travel PAST Baltimore you do start to see inversions for Crescent stops prior Lynchburg compared with the Crescent at or after Lynchburg, but not compared to the Regional. Long story short the Lynchburg Regional is always cheaper than the Crescent, but if you just have to use the Crescent for local VA travel selecting a more "LD" origin/destination may spare you some of the new pricing "penalties."

Rail Boy
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Re: Expanded Regional Service To Virginia

Post by Rail Boy » Thu Oct 29, 2009 11:54 pm

Does anyone know the approximate schedule of the new Richmond train? Does anyone know which trains it will be? Morning? Mid-Day? Evening? Making all stops or skipping Springfield and/or Woodbridge?

I was surprised that Amtrak didn't bother to re-number the Lynchburg trains to a two-digit number similar to the rest of the Virginia Trains. It is also interesting that it is only a Boston train on the weekdays, with the weekends being 145/147 (Springfield) Southbound and only to New York Northbound on 156.

SwingMan
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Re: Expanded Regional Service To Virginia

Post by SwingMan » Fri Oct 30, 2009 9:58 am

Rail Boy wrote:Does anyone know the approximate schedule of the new Richmond train? Does anyone know which trains it will be? Morning? Mid-Day? Evening? Making all stops or skipping Springfield and/or Woodbridge?

I was surprised that Amtrak didn't bother to re-number the Lynchburg trains to a two-digit number similar to the rest of the Virginia Trains. It is also interesting that it is only a Boston train on the weekdays, with the weekends being 145/147 (Springfield) Southbound and only to New York Northbound on 156.

All of the trains kept their original train number from the last schedule. I believe the new trains to Richmond are exten. of 125 and ??? so just look at the current schedule of 125 then use another train running down the line for the schedule.

dpeacock

Re: Expanded Regional Service To Virginia

Post by dpeacock » Fri Nov 13, 2009 5:55 pm

I live in Manassas, VA in walking distance of station so am very excited about the extension of this NE Corridor service to Lynchburg, with stops in Charlottesville, Culpeper, Manassas, Burke Centre (weekdays), and Alexandria. This is the 1st Amtrak service that VA has subsidized and first new daily train service in 30 years. Unofficial figures from Amtrak suggest that many ridership goals are already being met in the 1st month of operation (October 2009). As this service is a 3 yr experiment, I want to publicize the service as much as possible. There is a beautiful flyer that Amtrak developed with the State of Virginia that they send to some stations (Alexandria) but only in limited supply to other stations (Manassas and Culpeper). I have been complaining to Amtrak about this lack of flyers. They should post on their website and http://www.amtrakvirginia.

Questions: Has any one seen this flyer? Would it be OK to post a pdf somewhere on this website? Is Amtrak this slow to publicize its service? :-)

jamesinclair
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Re: Expanded Regional Service To Virginia

Post by jamesinclair » Fri Nov 13, 2009 9:27 pm

Maybe im just having a dumb moment... but I cant find the schedule on the amtrak website

http://www.amtrak.com/servlet/ContentSe ... 7405732511

M&Eman
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Re: Expanded Regional Service To Virginia

Post by M&Eman » Sat Nov 14, 2009 10:27 am

strench707 wrote:I rode the Springfield to Lynchburg train on a Saturday recently from PHL to BWI. The whole thing was sold out. I find this an odd route because it will go P42 from Springfield to NH and electric from NH to DC then P42 again from DC to Lynchburg. Edited to remove section of concern. Dave Becker
Davis
I would not post any more details about this train in case managers troll this board and get this engineer in trouble. In fact I suggest removing all references to the time of the trip (as i did in bold) since this train is so easily identifiable by its endpoints.
"The Erie only sells 1 way tickets on the NJ&NY because it only has a 99 year lease on the line."

SwingMan
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Re: Expanded Regional Service To Virginia

Post by SwingMan » Sat Nov 14, 2009 11:25 am

jamesinclair wrote:Maybe im just having a dumb moment... but I cant find the schedule on the amtrak website

http://www.amtrak.com/servlet/ContentSe ... 7405732511

They're in the Crescent timetable.

Amtrak7
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Re: Expanded Regional Service To Virginia

Post by Amtrak7 » Sat Nov 14, 2009 4:06 pm

For some reason, the Amtrak System Timetable shows these Regional trains as NYP-Lynchburg. As the NEC schedules are omitted for trackwork, there is no mention that some continue to BOS.

jamesinclair
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Re: Expanded Regional Service To Virginia

Post by jamesinclair » Sat Nov 14, 2009 5:55 pm

lirr415 wrote:
jamesinclair wrote:Maybe im just having a dumb moment... but I cant find the schedule on the amtrak website

http://www.amtrak.com/servlet/ContentSe ... 7405732511

They're in the Crescent timetable.
And so they are.

I wonder why? if you go to the Lynchburg page, it says

Routes
Crescent
Northeast Regional

So I naturally clicked NE to see that schedule.

Rail Boy
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Re: Expanded Regional Service To Virginia

Post by Rail Boy » Mon Dec 07, 2009 1:57 am

When is the additional RVR frequency to begin? I looked at Amtrak.com for today (Monday) and for Dec 22, and don't see it.

chefwrg
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Re: Expanded Regional Service To Virginia

Post by chefwrg » Mon Dec 07, 2009 11:53 am

We have heard that CSX has delayed permission. Something to do with Franconia Hill. I do know they have added a 2nd track and new platform at the Staples Mill station, I suspect to get Amtrak off of the main lines so CSX can roll through with freight traffic

Jeff Smith
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The Case for Virginia Regional Trains (Report)

Post by Jeff Smith » Sat Jan 28, 2012 10:54 am

Covers the soon to be Norfolk service, Lynchburg, etc.

What’s the Case for Inter-City Rail?

Brief, fair-use quote:
Inter-city passenger rail service is a wonderful thing… if it can pay its own way. The folks at the Department of Rail and Public Transportation managed to cut a really favorable deal with Amtrak, so the Virginia-backed regional service connecting Lynchburg and Richmond with Washington are both break-even propositions — virtually unheard of elsewhere in the country. Supposedly, the planned Norfolk-to-Washington passenger rail service will cover its costs as well. But new terms Amtrak is imposing on Virginia will likely be less advantageous. Over the next six years, the state will need $119 million to continue the operation of its six round-trip regional trains and to make passenger-rail infrastructure improvements in the current plans.
And the link to the report: http://www.vhsr.com/system/files/VARegionalFinal.pdf
Expanding Passenger Rail Service

A number of studies have been conducted or are underway to advance additional rail services. Among other things, three different high speed rail corridors are currently being studied. The Commonwealth and the federal government are conducting the Tier 2 environmental impact statement (EIS) to improve the Richmond to Washington corridor to permit faster and more frequent service, a study is underway in cooperation with North Carolina to complete the Tier 2 EIS for high speed rail between Richmond and Raleigh, and the Tier I EIS for high speed rail between Richmond and Hampton Roads is being finalized. If Virginia and North Carolina, in conjunction with the VA/NC High Speed Rail Compact, recently chaired by Senator John Watkins, continue to build out their intercity rail as planned, this will create an estimated 228,000 jobs5 and generate $30 billion in economic development.

Virginia is looking at other possible extensions of passenger rail service. For example, the Commonwealth has launched a bus connection between Roanoke and Lynchburg that enables people from the Roanoke region to board the Lynchburg regional service. Ridership on this bus service is exceeding projections, and this service is a precursor to extending regional passenger rail service to Roanoke and southwest Virginia.
Next stop, Willoughby
~Jeff Smith (fka "Sarge") :: RAILROAD.NET Site Administrator/Co-Owner

Station Aficionado
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Re: The Case for Virginia Regional Trains (Report)

Post by Station Aficionado » Sat Jan 28, 2012 1:55 pm

I'm afraid the very first sentence quoted by Jeff, "if can pay its way," makes me dubious of anything else said. The commenter appears to think that passenger trains should not exist if they require any public support. It's a bit unclear from the rest of the column (and it's really an opinion column, not a news report), in fact, whether the commenter thinks there should be any public support of any aspect of transportation. To my mind, this is not a serious opinion.

Having done a little looking around, I think it's fair to say that Bacon's Rebellion, the site of the column linked by Jeff, is a right-of-center commentary site (not that there's anything wrong with that, but it is important for understanding where this writer is coming from). Also, I note that a number of other columns on the site exhibit pronounced antipathy to Northern Virginia and, to a lesser extent, Tidewater. I assume the writers tend to hale from other parts of the Commonwealth (the "real Virginia" according to John McCain's brother in 2008). This also may be part of the mindset of this particular columnist. (Edited to remove irrelevant commentary on my part).

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