Jump to content




Photo

Virginia Governor proposes funds for Roanoke Extension


  • Please log in to reply
94 replies to this topic

#81 jis

jis

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 18,984 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
  • Interests:Trains, Planes and Travel

Posted 15 November 2014 - 07:05 AM

Also the NEC upgrade in NJ completes in 2017...


Sent from my iPhone using Amtrak Forum

#82 Big Iron

Big Iron

    Conductor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 969 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Virginia

Posted 15 November 2014 - 07:23 AM

What's so important about Bristol that it warrants an extension in the first place?

Lots of National and International Industrial companies in the nearby area which Executives might need to travel to.  Otherwise would fly into Kingsport, TN.


Trains Ridden: Broadway Limited (3), Capitol Limited (10), Cardinal (James Whitcomb Riley) (4) , Lake Shore Ltd. (4), Silver Star (5), Night Owl (3), Montrealer (2), Illinois Zephyr (10), Palmetto (2)

#83 WoodyinNYC

WoodyinNYC

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,290 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:NYC

Posted 15 November 2014 - 12:31 PM

 

What's so important about Bristol that it warrants an extension in the first place?

Lots of National and International Industrial companies in the nearby area which Executives might need to travel to.  Otherwise would fly into Kingsport, TN.

Now that the demon weed is legal in some states, would you like to share a toke with me?

 

Extending the train to Roanoke gets you down the road a piece. Extending to Bristol, VA -- well, it's nice by itself. The "Tri-Cities" include Bristol, VA, and Bristol, TN, Kingston, TN, and Johnson City, TN. Their Combined Statistical Area, the 5th largest in Tennessee, boasts over 500,000 population.

 

OK, now we hit the bong! It's another 113 miles and less than 2 hours driving time to Knoxville, TN, with a Metro population over 850,000.

 

Keep rolling along the Tennessee River for about 1 hour 40 minutes over another 112 miles, the Chattanooga Metro pop is over 500,000.

 

From Chattanooga a train could go thru Alabama -- Chattanooga-Huntsville/Decatur (Metro pop 436,000)-Birmingham (Metro pop 1.1 million) -- OR, Chattanooga-Gadsen (Metro pop over 100,000)-Birmingham  -- OR make a sharp turn to Atlanta.

 

The route looks attractive for the spacing of several nice sized cities along the way. And it's easy to see Virginia pushing down to Bristol for in-state political reasons. But will Tennessee pick up the work to link 3 of its top 5 metro areas? Could Alabama push it thru Chattanooga-Huntsville-Birmingham-Montgomery-Mobile to New Orleans? Oh, wait. I think i see a flock of flying pigs. LOL. Maybe I need a nap now.


Edited by WoodyinNYC, 15 November 2014 - 12:34 PM.


#84 Guest_west point_*

Guest_west point_*
  • Guests

Posted 15 November 2014 - 01:26 PM

Roanoke to Bristol has some favorable trip times past on the N&W.  However Bristol to Knoxville is terrible.  Many portions from Bristol MAS is only 30 MPH.  Best SOU RR passenger time Bristol - Knoxville was ~ 3:45..  Road miles down town Bristol - Knoxville is ~ 105 miles.  SOU RR miles ~ 128 miles.



#85 neroden

neroden

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,808 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Location:Ithaca, NY
  • Interests:Please feel free to moderate my posts

Posted 16 November 2014 - 04:00 PM

Extending the train to Roanoke gets you down the road a piece. Extending to Bristol, VA -- well, it's nice by itself. The "Tri-Cities" include Bristol, VA, and Bristol, TN, Kingston, TN, and Johnson City, TN. Their Combined Statistical Area, the 5th largest in Tennessee, boasts over 500,000 population.
 
OK, now we hit the bong! It's another 113 miles and less than 2 hours driving time to Knoxville, TN, with a Metro population over 850,000.

Checking my railroad atlases, Bristol-Knoxville is a lot more practical than I realized. The NS (Southern) route goes via Johnson City TN, Greeneville TN, and Morristown TN -- all useful intermediate stop locations. It doesn't look geometrically ridiculous; it could probably have its speed improved.

This would of course only happen if Knoxville & the state of Tennessee decided they wanted a railroad connection to the east, and decided to pay for improvements.

Roanoke to Bristol has some favorable trip times past on the N&W.  However Bristol to Knoxville is terrible.  Many portions from Bristol MAS is only 30 MPH.  Best SOU RR passenger time Bristol - Knoxville was ~ 3:45..  Road miles down town Bristol - Knoxville is ~ 105 miles.  SOU RR miles ~ 128 miles.

128 miles vs. 113 miles (Google makes it 113 miles, not 105) is not a problem, particularly when you're picking up intermediate cities (the direct road skips all of them).

30 mph or 3:45 is a problem. so curve straightening would be required. And/or tilting trains. The direct route takes 1:43 according to Google. The existing road which follows the railroad route and stops at the intermediate cities takes 3:07 right now, 3:17 with traffic.

If Tennessee decided to go for it, improving this and providing passenger service -- probably at some speed better than 3:07 but worse than 1:43 -- would be a reasonable Tennessee project.
--Nathanael--

Please feel free to moderate my posts.

#86 keelhauled

keelhauled

    OBS Chief

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 467 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:VT

Posted 16 November 2014 - 07:02 PM

I have to wonder what Virginia would say to the idea of their corridor train getting extended west. Seems to me like Virginia doesn't benefit from service to Tennessee too much, and it hugely increases the potential for late trains; at that point it can probably be considered more of a long distance train than a corridor.  Looking at it from the state's perspective, I doubt they'd be thrilled about spending money on a train that isn't focused on Virginia first.


Go on, raise the flag, I got stars in my eyes...I'm in love with her and I won't apologize.


#87 Anderson

Anderson

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8,117 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Virginia

Posted 16 November 2014 - 09:35 PM

It increases the possibility of delayed trains, yes.  Hugely?  I'm not so sure about that; it's not like there's a change of host railroad involved and the train already covers a lot of ground at that point.

 

Let's assume the train could make the run in 3:00 reliably; more than that seems to be a stretch, but 3:00 isn't horrid in context.  From what I recall you'd be looking at 3:00 to Bristol, another 4:00 to Roanoke, 1:00 to Lynchburg, and 4:00 to Washington...so 12:00 Knoxville-Washington and about 16:00 Knoxville-New York.  That's survivable in many respects, and it does open up the possibility of service to Nashville and/or Chattanooga (at which point you have to have an overnight train in the picture), which I suspect TN is not terribly opposed to.


Capitol Limited (7), CA Zephyr (4) Lake Shore Limited (1), Acela (2), NE Regional (2), Sliver Meteor (4)

Upcoming: Silver Meteor (1), Lake Shore Limited (1), SW Chief (2), MO River Runner (1), Texas Eagle (1)

Possibly Upcoming: Either Texas Eagle (1), Capitol Limited (1), Silver Meteor (2) or Texas Eagle (1), Capitol Limited (1), Silver Meteor (1)

#88 afigg

afigg

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,859 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Virginia

Posted 17 November 2014 - 12:00 AM

I have to wonder what Virginia would say to the idea of their corridor train getting extended west. Seems to me like Virginia doesn't benefit from service to Tennessee too much, and it hugely increases the potential for late trains; at that point it can probably be considered more of a long distance train than a corridor.  Looking at it from the state's perspective, I doubt they'd be thrilled about spending money on a train that isn't focused on Virginia first.

If the train route were to be extended beyond Bristol well into Tennessee, it becomes less of a corridor train and more of an LD train distance. Extending service from Roanoke to Bristol will be enough of a challenge as Roanoke is about as far as the current Lynchburg Regional service can be extended and keep to a daytime schedule. 

 

A Virginia supported train originating and terminating in Bristol might have to become a named train to NYP, similar to the Carolinian, because the distance it would have to cover south of WAS would make it too unreliable for Amtrak to list it as a NE Regional service from WAS to NYP. However, it could provide a second daily frequency for Roanoke and as 3rd daily VA supported train at Lynchburg. 

 

But this is all academic speculation. First, VA has to spend $95 million to extend service to Roanoke in 2017. Once that is complete. we shall see if there is support for or as a deal to get political support from SW Virginia, for spending the $40 million or more to extend passenger service to Bristol versus spending the funds on upgrades on the Norfolk/Newport News to RVM to WAS route.



#89 Anderson

Anderson

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8,117 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Virginia

Posted 17 November 2014 - 12:52 AM

 

I have to wonder what Virginia would say to the idea of their corridor train getting extended west. Seems to me like Virginia doesn't benefit from service to Tennessee too much, and it hugely increases the potential for late trains; at that point it can probably be considered more of a long distance train than a corridor.  Looking at it from the state's perspective, I doubt they'd be thrilled about spending money on a train that isn't focused on Virginia first.

If the train route were to be extended beyond Bristol well into Tennessee, it becomes less of a corridor train and more of an LD train distance. Extending service from Roanoke to Bristol will be enough of a challenge as Roanoke is about as far as the current Lynchburg Regional service can be extended and keep to a daytime schedule. 

 

A Virginia supported train originating and terminating in Bristol might have to become a named train to NYP, similar to the Carolinian, because the distance it would have to cover south of WAS would make it too unreliable for Amtrak to list it as a NE Regional service from WAS to NYP. However, it could provide a second daily frequency for Roanoke and as 3rd daily VA supported train at Lynchburg. 

 

But this is all academic speculation. First, VA has to spend $95 million to extend service to Roanoke in 2017. Once that is complete. we shall see if there is support for or as a deal to get political support from SW Virginia, for spending the $40 million or more to extend passenger service to Bristol versus spending the funds on upgrades on the Norfolk/Newport News to RVM to WAS route.

 

I tend to agree with the possibility of needing to name the train and/or list the service as something different.  Even at Roanoke it's something of a stretch (you're looking at five hours and change as it is), but it's still close enough to work.  With that being said, I could see the whole Bristol/Roanoke/Lynchburg service getting some sort of branding of its own.

 

Based on what is going on with Virginia politics, my instinct is that they're going to throw the book at Richmond-Washington before Bristol gets a train.  As things stand, RVM-WAS has the potential to make a ton of money for the state (particularly in concert with RVM-NPN/NFK) and the state has its plate full right now with those two legs (plus RVM-RGH, even though that is a joint project with NC).  Technically the state has four projects, dropping back to three once Roanoke happens.


Edited by Anderson, 17 November 2014 - 01:01 AM.

Capitol Limited (7), CA Zephyr (4) Lake Shore Limited (1), Acela (2), NE Regional (2), Sliver Meteor (4)

Upcoming: Silver Meteor (1), Lake Shore Limited (1), SW Chief (2), MO River Runner (1), Texas Eagle (1)

Possibly Upcoming: Either Texas Eagle (1), Capitol Limited (1), Silver Meteor (2) or Texas Eagle (1), Capitol Limited (1), Silver Meteor (1)

#90 afigg

afigg

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,859 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Virginia

Posted 17 November 2014 - 06:31 PM

I tend to agree with the possibility of needing to name the train and/or list the service as something different.  Even at Roanoke it's something of a stretch (you're looking at five hours and change as it is), but it's still close enough to work.  With that being said, I could see the whole Bristol/Roanoke/Lynchburg service getting some sort of branding of its own.
 
Based on what is going on with Virginia politics, my instinct is that they're going to throw the book at Richmond-Washington before Bristol gets a train.  As things stand, RVM-WAS has the potential to make a ton of money for the state (particularly in concert with RVM-NPN/NFK) and the state has its plate full right now with those two legs (plus RVM-RGH, even though that is a joint project with NC).  Technically the state has four projects, dropping back to three once Roanoke happens.


I agree. After service starts to Roanoke, I think an extension to Bristol could go into the "we will get to it later" box for the next 6 to 10 years. Virginia is spending a respectable amount of state funds on improvements for the route to Lynchburg and Roanoke:

1. $95.8 million for Lynchburg to Roanoke extension of service
2. $6.4 million (of a total of $9.2 million for Lynchburg to Alexandria Speed Improvements.
3. $22.1 million (of a total of $31.6 million) for Nokesville to Calverton Double Track (south of Manassas)

That adds up to $124 million. After those projects are completed, the Roanoke, Lynchburg, Charlottesville regions can't complain that there has been a lack of state rail funds spent in their parts of the state. Makes sense to focus the bulk of the available annual funds after 2017 on the Long Bridge, WAS to RVM and restoring service through RVM for trains going south of Richmond.

For service to/from Bristol, there is also the issue of equipment. Service that far from WAS really can't be done as an extension of a Regional. It would require 2 sets of coach cars, cafe car and a locomotive. Ok, maybe they could use freed up Horizons on this route, but would Virginia pay to refurbish them? One reason for a service extension to Bristol to go on the back burner until after a new fleet of single level cars is ordered.

In the meantime, there will be train service to Roanoke and faster trip times to Lynchburg. Who would have expected this 4 or 5 years ago as a real possibility by 2017?

#91 Anderson

Anderson

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8,117 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Virginia

Posted 17 November 2014 - 10:19 PM

Yeah, and there's some additional stuff going on that I can't really discuss until paperwork either gets passed around or fails to come through.  afigg, I'll email you a summary.


Capitol Limited (7), CA Zephyr (4) Lake Shore Limited (1), Acela (2), NE Regional (2), Sliver Meteor (4)

Upcoming: Silver Meteor (1), Lake Shore Limited (1), SW Chief (2), MO River Runner (1), Texas Eagle (1)

Possibly Upcoming: Either Texas Eagle (1), Capitol Limited (1), Silver Meteor (2) or Texas Eagle (1), Capitol Limited (1), Silver Meteor (1)

#92 Big Iron

Big Iron

    Conductor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 969 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Virginia

Posted 18 November 2014 - 07:43 PM

 

 

What's so important about Bristol that it warrants an extension in the first place?

Lots of National and International Industrial companies in the nearby area which Executives might need to travel to.  Otherwise would fly into Kingsport, TN.

Now that the demon weed is legal in some states, would you like to share a toke with me?

 

Extending the train to Roanoke gets you down the road a piece. Extending to Bristol, VA -- well, it's nice by itself. The "Tri-Cities" include Bristol, VA, and Bristol, TN, Kingston, TN, and Johnson City, TN. Their Combined Statistical Area, the 5th largest in Tennessee, boasts over 500,000 population.

 

OK, now we hit the bong! It's another 113 miles and less than 2 hours driving time to Knoxville, TN, with a Metro population over 850,000.

 

Keep rolling along the Tennessee River for about 1 hour 40 minutes over another 112 miles, the Chattanooga Metro pop is over 500,000.

 

From Chattanooga a train could go thru Alabama -- Chattanooga-Huntsville/Decatur (Metro pop 436,000)-Birmingham (Metro pop 1.1 million) -- OR, Chattanooga-Gadsen (Metro pop over 100,000)-Birmingham  -- OR make a sharp turn to Atlanta.

 

The route looks attractive for the spacing of several nice sized cities along the way. And it's easy to see Virginia pushing down to Bristol for in-state political reasons. But will Tennessee pick up the work to link 3 of its top 5 metro areas? Could Alabama push it thru Chattanooga-Huntsville-Birmingham-Montgomery-Mobile to New Orleans? Oh, wait. I think i see a flock of flying pigs. LOL. Maybe I need a nap now.

 

Or another bong hit.


Trains Ridden: Broadway Limited (3), Capitol Limited (10), Cardinal (James Whitcomb Riley) (4) , Lake Shore Ltd. (4), Silver Star (5), Night Owl (3), Montrealer (2), Illinois Zephyr (10), Palmetto (2)

#93 Guest_Ol' McDonald_*

Guest_Ol' McDonald_*
  • Guests

Posted 21 January 2015 - 08:34 PM

 

The city of Roanoke is setting the wheels in motion for the Amtrak project. An opportunity to apply for a grant has made itself available.

The city is looking to apply for a $3.2 million grant. The grant from the state would give the city the option, if it needs to buy land.

 

 

Link: http://www.wdbj7.com...-plans/30848360



#94 afigg

afigg

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,859 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Virginia

Posted 16 January 2016 - 10:50 AM

I know there have been more recent posts on the Roanoke service extension, but this thread is what turned up in a search. Anyway, this is on-topic as there has been activity and a study on extending service to Christiansburg that has recommended two possible sites for a new station.

 

NRV MPO selects location for passenger rail station

The New River Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) selected two Christiansburg sites as possible locations for an Amtrak passenger rail station.

Working with the New River Valley Regional Commission (NRVRC) and NRV Rail 2020, a NRV-wide community group spearheading the effort, the MPO selected two sites in Christiansburg east and west of North Franklin Street near the aquatics center for a future Amtrak station.
“Based on market demand data, its central location in the New River Valley, and close proximity to the Norfolk Southern line, the Christiansburg locations make the most sense for a passenger station,” said Dan Brugh, MPO Executive Director. The MPO made the decision at its regular meeting Jan. 7.

 

 

The website for New River Valley Rail 2020 is http://www.nrvpassengerrail.org/

 

The January 7 viewgraph presentation shows the extent of the study and station site search.  If Roanoke service starts in 2017, a new station and extending the Regional(s) to Christiansburg by 2020 could indeed happen if local political and VA Tech leadership supports it.



#95 Thirdrail7

Thirdrail7

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,785 posts

Posted 19 April 2017 - 08:44 PM

 

 

Training and familiarization runs should begin soon. There may be photo opportunities afoot. 


They say laughter is the best medicine. Obviously they never posted on AU.





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users