Posted 27 January 2017 - 07:47 AM
The Norfolk train spends the night in a dedicated yard by St. Julian Ave. Basically there's a line that heads off towards the airport and then Little Creek Amphibious Base...as a matter of trivia, this was once the southernmost part of the Pennsylvania Railroad IIRC. The bit at Little Creek is where the rail barge to Cape Charles leaves from.
As to the trains being optimized, Newport News to points west is arguably passable via the Cardinal (notwithstanding the less-than-daily service there), but your point is taken...connections to Florida are a mess at RVR (which wouldn't be so bad if RVR wasn't so poorly placed...if I could do the wait at RVM instead, I know of a very nice Cuban restaurant a block away where I once waited out the time from the Star to the Meteor when I missed the latter due to traffic).
One thing you might want to consider is driving to Richmond (or possibly Petersburg) and catching one of the Florida trains to points "up north". It's more of a drive, yes, but it's also what I've done for years in spite of living quite close to NPN: The parking is better, I've got more schedule selection, and the Star and Meteor have better accommodation options (and food/beverage options) than the Regionals do. If you play your cards right, the Star in a room can even be far cheaper than a Regional (at least at last check).
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)