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Construction of Roanoke Amtrak Platform


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#21 west point

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Posted 15 February 2017 - 07:29 PM

Blacksburg, Roanoke, Lynchburg, Charlottesville and to lesser extent Danville, Manassas all suffer from there not being a good interstate type road system going to WASH and the NEC. That fact IMO is a big factor for the success of Lynchburg service and the potential Roanoke service demand. It is entirely possible that this new service will suffer from demand exceeding supply. The 800 Ft storage area in Roanoke will limit trains to 9 cars + 1 loco. For VA DOT to initiate another Lynchburg <> NEC is going to be difficult with the present Amtrak car shortage and CSX intransigence?

#22 Alexandria Nick

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 12:10 AM

Blacksburg, Roanoke, Lynchburg, Charlottesville and to lesser extent Danville, Manassas all suffer from there not being a good interstate type road system going to WASH and the NEC. That fact IMO is a big factor for the success of Lynchburg service and the potential Roanoke service demand. It is entirely possible that this new service will suffer from demand exceeding supply. The 800 Ft storage area in Roanoke will limit trains to 9 cars + 1 loco. For VA DOT to initiate another Lynchburg <> NEC is going to be difficult with the present Amtrak car shortage and CSX intransigence?

I vigorously disagree.

 

Manassas is literally one mile from I-66. The area people call "Manassas" is split in half by I-66 (the battlefield is north and the town is south).  I-66 ends right in front of the Kennedy Center.

 

Roanoke is right next to I-81, which leads to I-66.  Just because it doesn't go right through the center of town doesn't mean its not there.  Downtown Roanoke is closer to 81 than Downtown DC is to 95 and you're not going to find anyone that says DC isn't on 95.



#23 Ryan

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 02:00 AM

To extend on that, Blacksburg is practically a stone's throw from 81, especially now that the route is 100% bypass with no traffic lights until you reach the campus (and I recall reading that the traffic light at Southgate was set for removal at some point). That would put the next traffic light way out in Pembroke(?). Been a while since I've been out that far...
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#24 Carolina Special

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 08:50 AM

I-81 is heavily used by trucks and frequently is a pain in the rear to travel on by car: it needs widening in several areas. But it definitely is an interstate.

Danville/Lynchburg/Charlottesville are only served by Rt29 in a direct line to the NEC. Rt29 is not an interstate and has a bunch more stoplights than a couple of decades ago, particularly around Charlottesville and the approach to I-66 near Manassas.

#25 XHRTSP

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 10:22 AM

Dumb question but are they going to take advantage of any old school train stations to service this new line (assuming any exist), or are they just building a glorified bus stop next to the tracks?



#26 John Bobinyec

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Posted 08 July 2017 - 07:21 AM

Will there be any intermediate stops between Lynchburg and Roanoke?

 

jb


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#27 brianpmcdonnell17

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Posted 08 July 2017 - 08:24 AM

Will there be any intermediate stops between Lynchburg and Roanoke?
 
jb

No.
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#28 neroden

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Posted 08 July 2017 - 03:02 PM

Dumb question but are they going to take advantage of any old school train stations to service this new line (assuming any exist), or are they just building a glorified bus stop next to the tracks?


They don't build bus stop horrors like Sanderson, TX, Middletown, PA, Tyrone, PA, or Mount Joy, PA any more. (Actually, there are a startlingly large number of these substandard stations in Pennsylvania, on both Amtrak and SEPTA.)

Roanoke is a high-level platform with a full canopy, lighting, and benches. Ramp and stair access. I think of it as a "modern halt". If they end up with too many people they might build an indoor waiting room, but honestly, I don't care. I'm happy with a nice level-boarding platform with a full canopy, lighting, and benches; it's what an awful lot of train stations worldwide look like.

Edited by neroden, 08 July 2017 - 03:08 PM.

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#29 Bob Dylan

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Posted 09 July 2017 - 12:26 AM

Slight correction to neroden's post:

Sanderson,TX had a Wooden SP Depot that was torn down several years ago.

All that is there for the Flag Stop now is a crumbling cement platform with weeds growing through it!
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#30 dogbert617

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Posted 09 July 2017 - 04:39 PM

 

Will there be any intermediate stops between Lynchburg and Roanoke?
 
jb

No.

 

 

I see. When I was visiting relatives down in Smith Mountain Lake last year, I found a local paper or newspaper that stated some wanted Amtrak to have a stop at Bedford, VA, for the Roanoke expansion of the NE Regional train beyond Lynchburg. I guess that's only been floated as an idea by some locals who live near there, but that Virginia Department of Transportation hasn't committed to doing that?

 

It stinks the departure from Roanoke northeast to DC and points beyond will be something like 6am or 6:20, but that's better than having no rail service. Reminds me of Grand Rapids, MI, where it's only train going west to Chicago leaves GR at 6am. I survived, when once I took the train from Chicago to Saint Louis that left at 7am!


Edited by dogbert617, 09 July 2017 - 04:41 PM.


#31 WestBerkeleyFlats

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Posted 10 July 2017 - 04:42 PM

 

 

Will there be any intermediate stops between Lynchburg and Roanoke?
 
jb

No.

 

 

I see. When I was visiting relatives down in Smith Mountain Lake last year, I found a local paper or newspaper that stated some wanted Amtrak to have a stop at Bedford, VA, for the Roanoke expansion of the NE Regional train beyond Lynchburg. I guess that's only been floated as an idea by some locals who live near there, but that Virginia Department of Transportation hasn't committed to doing that?

 

It stinks the departure from Roanoke northeast to DC and points beyond will be something like 6am or 6:20, but that's better than having no rail service. Reminds me of Grand Rapids, MI, where it's only train going west to Chicago leaves GR at 6am. I survived, when once I took the train from Chicago to Saint Louis that left at 7am!

 

 

People in Bedford want (restored) Amtrak service, but they haven't been able to convince people that they have the population or attractions - https://en.wikipedia...tion_(Virginia)



#32 dogbert617

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 02:17 AM

 

 

 

Will there be any intermediate stops between Lynchburg and Roanoke?
 
jb

No.

 

 

I see. When I was visiting relatives down in Smith Mountain Lake last year, I found a local paper or newspaper that stated some wanted Amtrak to have a stop at Bedford, VA, for the Roanoke expansion of the NE Regional train beyond Lynchburg. I guess that's only been floated as an idea by some locals who live near there, but that Virginia Department of Transportation hasn't committed to doing that?

 

It stinks the departure from Roanoke northeast to DC and points beyond will be something like 6am or 6:20, but that's better than having no rail service. Reminds me of Grand Rapids, MI, where it's only train going west to Chicago leaves GR at 6am. I survived, when once I took the train from Chicago to Saint Louis that left at 7am!

 

 

People in Bedford want (restored) Amtrak service, but they haven't been able to convince people that they have the population or attractions - https://en.wikipedia...tion_(Virginia)

 

Gotcha. I guess it's up to convincing Amtrak and also Virginia Department of Transporation, that the ridership would be there to support a station. Hopefully that happens, down the road.



#33 brianpmcdonnell17

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 07:07 AM

 

 

 

Will there be any intermediate stops between Lynchburg and Roanoke?
 
jb

No.
 
 
I see. When I was visiting relatives down in Smith Mountain Lake last year, I found a local paper or newspaper that stated some wanted Amtrak to have a stop at Bedford, VA, for the Roanoke expansion of the NE Regional train beyond Lynchburg. I guess that's only been floated as an idea by some locals who live near there, but that Virginia Department of Transportation hasn't committed to doing that?
 
It stinks the departure from Roanoke northeast to DC and points beyond will be something like 6am or 6:20, but that's better than having no rail service. Reminds me of Grand Rapids, MI, where it's only train going west to Chicago leaves GR at 6am. I survived, when once I took the train from Chicago to Saint Louis that left at 7am!
 
 
People in Bedford want (restored) Amtrak service, but they haven't been able to convince people that they have the population or attractions - https://en.wikipedia...tion_(Virginia)
 
Gotcha. I guess it's up to convincing Amtrak and also Virginia Department of Transporation, that the ridership would be there to support a station. Hopefully that happens, down the road.
Yeah, a station may be a good idea, however there are other areas even in-state that are more in need of a stop. One example is Suffolk, which is along the Norfolk Branch. It has a population of 87,000, compared to only 6,000 in Bedford.

Edited by brianpmcdonnell17, 11 July 2017 - 07:07 AM.

Trains travelled: Capitol Limited WAS-CHI, Carolinian CLT-RGH, Coast Starlight SJC-LAX, Crescent BAL-ATL, Empire Builder MSP-CHI, Empire Service NYP-NFL+NYG-YNY, Lake Shore Limited BOS-ALB, Maple Leaf ALB-NYP, Northeast Regional FBG-RVR+WAS-BOS, Pacific Surfliner LAX-ANA, Pennsylvanian NYP-PGH, Piedmont RGH-DNC, Silver Meteor ORL-NYP, Silver Star FTL-WAS, 2016 Autumn Express NYP-HAR-NYP

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#34 west point

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 12:28 PM

Speculation:   The opening date of service to Roanoke seems to be very conservative.  Some one near there should give up dates on the station construction which is progressing ahead of schedule..  The T&E crews have been receiving qualification runs.  Are they all qualified yet ?  Could it be that VA DOT may have in mind to begin service earlier than announced date if all the project items are complete ?  When does VA FY begin  as that might have some  bearing on start - up ?



#35 jis

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 12:38 PM

Virginia I believe runs on two year budget cycles starting on the 1st of July of each even numbered year and ending on 30th of June two years after the start year. But I am sure Anderson will correct me if I am wrong.



#36 dogbert617

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 08:54 PM

 

 

 

 

 

Will there be any intermediate stops between Lynchburg and Roanoke?
 
jb

No.
 
 
I see. When I was visiting relatives down in Smith Mountain Lake last year, I found a local paper or newspaper that stated some wanted Amtrak to have a stop at Bedford, VA, for the Roanoke expansion of the NE Regional train beyond Lynchburg. I guess that's only been floated as an idea by some locals who live near there, but that Virginia Department of Transportation hasn't committed to doing that?
 
It stinks the departure from Roanoke northeast to DC and points beyond will be something like 6am or 6:20, but that's better than having no rail service. Reminds me of Grand Rapids, MI, where it's only train going west to Chicago leaves GR at 6am. I survived, when once I took the train from Chicago to Saint Louis that left at 7am!
 
 
People in Bedford want (restored) Amtrak service, but they haven't been able to convince people that they have the population or attractions - https://en.wikipedia...tion_(Virginia)
 
Gotcha. I guess it's up to convincing Amtrak and also Virginia Department of Transporation, that the ridership would be there to support a station. Hopefully that happens, down the road.
Yeah, a station may be a good idea, however there are other areas even in-state that are more in need of a stop. One example is Suffolk, which is along the Norfolk Branch. It has a population of 87,000, compared to only 6,000 in Bedford.

 

I always forget Suffolk doesn't have a stop. I don't disagree that potentially there could be other places in Virginia where adding a station or 2(i.e. Suffolk), would be a good idea. Still, you have to remember for Bedford that a lot of people do vacation into the Smith Mountain Lake area. And for sure that'd help the ridership numbers for Bedford, if a stop is ever added there. Never mind that I assume it'd be an early morning stop going north to DC and northeastern cities onward, but that the average person could live with that!



#37 WestBerkeleyFlats

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 04:37 PM

Service is scheduled to start on Halloween - http://www.roanoke.c...dde67ce943.html

 



#38 west point

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 12:22 AM

Pure speculation ----  ignoring the equipment shortage for VA DOT to get a second train to Roanoke.  Either use a Regional train that terminates at Richmond, extend to Petersburg then N&W (NS) to Lynchburg and Roanoke.  Another possibility would be take a Norfolk regional train and split at RVR or Petersburg and go N&W (NS) to Roanoke.  As an added benefit schedule Norfolk O&Ds so connections to / from Norfolk could go to Roanoke ?  Gives Lynchburg another connection to WASH - NEC .

This avoids VA DOT having to get another RT slot over Long Bridge ?   



#39 Anderson

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Posted Today, 02:37 PM

Pure speculation ----  ignoring the equipment shortage for VA DOT to get a second train to Roanoke.  Either use a Regional train that terminates at Richmond, extend to Petersburg then N&W (NS) to Lynchburg and Roanoke.  Another possibility would be take a Norfolk regional train and split at RVR or Petersburg and go N&W (NS) to Roanoke.  As an added benefit schedule Norfolk O&Ds so connections to / from Norfolk could go to Roanoke ?  Gives Lynchburg another connection to WASH - NEC .

This avoids VA DOT having to get another RT slot over Long Bridge ?   

VA actually already has another slot, IIRC.  Per an ancient conversation with Kevin Page, there's an extra slot "in the mix".  In theory that's supposed to be a slot to Richmond (I specifically remember dartboarding the idea of extending the Vermonter given when it's supposed to be for, but that ran into problems with VA and VT getting into a tug-of-war over who would get the credits for long-haul travel and pay for the improvements to get the train to Montreal).

 

As to Norfolk-Roanoke/Richmond-Roanoke?  That was basically your Hilltopper/Mountaineer schedule back in the 1970s (one schedule was basically 66/67 sent to PTB, turned west, and run until it met up with the Cardinal; the other was, in fact, a split of the Cardinal running to Norfolk).


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