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First train leaves Roanoke (10/31/17)


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#21 MikefromCrete

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Posted 01 November 2017 - 08:00 PM

Right, people on various website want to extend this train all the way throughout  the south, but it just won't work as Keellhauled points out. The train's attraction is that it allows a day's work in D.C. If all those places in Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, etc., want train service they have to step up to the plate like Virginia has and sponsor their own trains. I don't think Tennessee would get all worked up on sponsoring a train if the Lynchburger was extended to Bristol. After all, Tennessee has had Amtrak service on its west side (CONO) since the beginning of Amtrak, but hasn't cared less about adding new service out of Memphis. 

The Lynchburger has been a success, let it remain a success. 


Edited by MikefromCrete, 01 November 2017 - 08:01 PM.


#22 crescent-zephyr

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Posted 01 November 2017 - 08:53 PM

A Bristol to Atlanta route would be a no-brainer. I know that Atlanta Peachtree is not an option but perhaps a new station on the North side of Atlanta just for this service? 

 

I'm not saying the Bristol train would itself be extended to Atlanta... but that route would be a great route with very large population centers being served. 

 

And while the route from Chattanooga to Birmingham isn't quite as densely populates as northern Georgia, it would still see good ridershipI think. 


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#23 WoodyinNYC

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Posted 01 November 2017 - 10:45 PM

They can't keep extending trains indefinitely. The only reason VA service works is because they just take trainsets that would be sitting in DC overnight and send them to Richmond or points beyond, but you can only do that for so long. ... They've done wonderful work with this model, but it doesn't have much further it can be pushed.

Not thinking that Bristol-Knoxville-Chattanooga-Birmingham would be modeled on the Amtrak Virginia trains. That's a different thing.

 

This "Bristol train" would have to be modeled on the Crescent or the Lake Shore Ltd. Ya know? A long distance train, with sleepers, and passengers sleeping between Roanoke and Knoxville, and right thru Bristol, like they used to do. LOL.

 

Also not thinking it will be soon. It will take time, money, equipment, host railroad agreement etc. But it might come as soon as a revived Broadway Ltd.


Edited by WoodyinNYC, 01 November 2017 - 10:46 PM.


#24 railiner

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Posted 02 November 2017 - 12:32 AM

TN is currently not interested in expanding passenger rail service in the state. However, once service is extended to Bristol, there would literally be passenger rail service on East Tennessee's doorstep (assuming they use the old Bristol train depot as the station). That could change TN's attitude toward passenger rail along the Eastern border of the state, especially if many Johnson City, Knoxville, and Chattanooga residents drive to Bristol to board the train. In the intern, Amtrak could run a Thruway Motorcoach south from Bristol along I-81/I-75/I-59 to Johnson City, Knoxville, Chattanooga, and Birmingham, and along I-40 to Nashville. (I chose Birmingham for the Crescent connection because the Atlanta station problems preclude running the Chattanooga Thruway to that city).

That sounds like a good plan....

Tennessee might be more interested, if instead, or in addition to going from Chattanooga to Birmingham, the train went from Chattanooga to Memphis, albeit via AL, and MS......


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#25 jamesontheroad

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Posted 02 November 2017 - 05:29 AM

Right, people on various website want to extend this train all the way throughout  the south, but it just won't work as Keellhauled points out. The train's attraction is that it allows a day's work in D.C. If all those places in Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, etc., want train service they have to step up to the plate like Virginia has and sponsor their own trains. I don't think Tennessee would get all worked up on sponsoring a train if the Lynchburger was extended to Bristol. After all, Tennessee has had Amtrak service on its west side (CONO) since the beginning of Amtrak, but hasn't cared less about adding new service out of Memphis. 

The Lynchburger has been a success, let it remain a success. 

 

It seems to me that there are still many possibilities for quick wins... cities close to the Northeast Corridor (perhaps < 100 miles?) which could relatively easily be added to the network like Roanoke, by extending or re-routing existing Northeast Regional service.

 

As Mike explains above, the huge advantage for Roanoke is not the long-distance possibilities, but the new availability of a day return to DC, or a overnight / weekend trip to Philadelphia, NYC, Boston, etc.

 

Which other large cities might be contenders for such additional service?


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#26 Palmetto

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Posted 02 November 2017 - 06:18 AM

Anyone privvy to the load factor leaving Roanoke yesterday?



#27 WoodyinNYC

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Posted 02 November 2017 - 10:05 AM

 

Right, people on various websites want to extend this train all the way through the south ...

The Lynchburger has been a success, let it remain a success. 

... the huge advantage for Roanoke is not the long-distance possibilities, but the new availability of a day return to DC, or a overnight / weekend trip to Philadelphia, NYC, Boston, etc.

 

Which other large cities might be contenders for such additional service?

Is a "Bristol train" into the South such a difficult concept?

 

It's not either/or. It's both/and. It's for a "Bristol train" extending Knoxville-Chattanooga-points south.

 

Is anyone advocating an LD train instead of an Amtrak Virginia train extending Regional equipment south from D.C.?

 

Extending a Regional beyond Lynchburg and Roanoke should be only a first step toward Knoxville and Chattanooga.

 

Well, arguably, the extension to Roanoke is the first step. Extending to Bristol for a few years would be the next step.


Edited by WoodyinNYC, 02 November 2017 - 10:07 AM.


#28 WoodyinNYC

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Posted 02 November 2017 - 10:38 AM

 

Right, people on various websites want to extend this train all the way through the south ...

The Lynchburger has been a success, let it remain a success. 

there are still many possibilities for quick wins. cities close to the Northeast Corridor ... which could relatively easily be added to the network like Roanoke, by extending existing Northeast Regional service.

 

Which other large cities might be contenders for such additional service?

Contenders for added service are Norfolk, Richmond, and Lynchburg. Virginia has announced plans for two more trains to Norfolk and a Lynchburg end-point train since the existing Lynchburger has just become the Roanoker.

 

The possibilities for still more such service is not limited by a shortage of destinations. The shortage is that there exist only so many Regional train sets to extend, and iirc, with the currently announced plans, they've been used up.

 

With all the low-hanging fruit plucked and devoured, we'll need to be thinking outside the Virginia Regional box.

 

More long day train routes like the Carolinian and the Palmetto might work. The fabled "day train to Atlanta" for sure. Then D.C.-Charlotte-Columbia-Savannah perhaps? Or potentially D.C.-Charlottesville-Charleston/Huntington WV? That's looking a long long way down the tracks. We'd need more money, more equipment, more host railroad agreements etc.



#29 GaSteve

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 02:13 PM

A trip report ... http://www.wdbj7.com...-454810973.html



#30 Seaboard92

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 07:08 PM

I think if TN wanted a state sponsored train it would be something to Nashville. Granted could run a palmetto like train Chat-Knox-Bristol-RNK-NYP. Should be a long day but doable.
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#31 crescent-zephyr

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 10:00 PM

Well there isn't a mainline from Bristol to Nashville but sure turn it West at Chattanooga and head to Nashville and even Memphis!

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#32 jis

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Posted 04 November 2017 - 09:41 AM

Well there isn't a mainline from Bristol to Nashville but sure turn it West at Chattanooga and head to Nashville and even Memphis!

I think Chattanooga would be pretty much the outside limit of a day train from the Northeast though.


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#33 niemi24s

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Posted 04 November 2017 - 10:56 AM

Based on the current times for NER 171, its arrival time at Bristol (about 151 miles from RNK) would be about 0135hrs or 1:35am.  Would that tend to inhibit riders from going to Bristol?



#34 brianpmcdonnell17

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Posted 04 November 2017 - 11:20 AM

Well there isn't a mainline from Bristol to Nashville but sure turn it West at Chattanooga and head to Nashville and even Memphis!

I think Chattanooga would be pretty much the outside limit of a day train from the Northeast though.


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Based on the current times for NER 171, its arrival time at Bristol (about 151 miles from RNK) would be about 0135hrs or 1:35am.  Would that tend to inhibit riders from going to Bristol?

What I think would make the most sense is to have the current Regional continue to run a Boston to Roanoke route and add a Palmetto-style train that runs a full day schedule and only continues as far north as New York. If it ran as far south as Chattanooga, it could probably make the full run in about 17 hours, meaning a 6 AM departure from Chattanooga could arrive New York at approximately 11 PM. If a new station could be built in Atlanta and the schedule could be sped up slightly, an Atlanta extension could make sense. If the trip could be made in 18 hours, even a 5:30 AM-11:30 PM train would likely have high ridership with such a large city as Atlanta .

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Edited by brianpmcdonnell17, 04 November 2017 - 11:26 AM.

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#35 Skyline

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Posted 04 November 2017 - 03:22 PM

 

They can't keep extending trains indefinitely. The only reason VA service works is because they just take trainsets that would be sitting in DC overnight and send them to Richmond or points beyond, but you can only do that for so long. ... They've done wonderful work with this model, but it doesn't have much further it can be pushed.

Not thinking that Bristol-Knoxville-Chattanooga-Birmingham would be modeled on the Amtrak Virginia trains. That's a different thing.

 

This "Bristol train" would have to be modeled on the Crescent or the Lake Shore Ltd. Ya know? A long distance train, with sleepers, and passengers sleeping between Roanoke and Knoxville, and right thru Bristol, like they used to do. LOL.

 

Also not thinking it will be soon. It will take time, money, equipment, host railroad agreement etc. But it might come as soon as a revived Broadway Ltd.

 

 

 

Is anyone in authority actually talking about a revived Broadway Ltd? Or even a revived Three Rivers? Would be great! But is this more than a fantasy?



#36 jis

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Posted 04 November 2017 - 04:10 PM

No. The only thing that has been talked about with any remote semblance of seriousness is the through cars from the Pennsylvanian to the Cap. The rest is all different levels of frothing as far as I can tell.

Similarly, no one has talked seriously about anything beyond Bristol AFAICT.


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#37 railiner

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Posted 04 November 2017 - 11:13 PM

Based on the current times for NER 171, its arrival time at Bristol (about 151 miles from RNK) would be about 0135hrs or 1:35am.  Would that tend to inhibit riders from going to Bristol?

It certainly would...although it would still get a handful of rider's, being the only choice.

A nicer solution would be to have the current schedule stand as it is, and add a new trip in the future that would serve the NEC overnite, perhaps, and then be a day train across Virginia, and into Tennessee


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#38 WoodyinNYC

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Posted 05 November 2017 - 12:09 PM

 

Based on the current times for NER 171, its arrival time at Bristol ... would be about 1:35am.  Would that tend to inhibit riders from going to Bristol?

It certainly would...although it would still get a handful of riders, being the only choice.

A SB "Bristol train" would arrive in Knoxville around 6 a.m. and in Chattanooga by lunchtime. Very good times.

 

Folks in Bristol know the necessary schedule from the days of the Southern RR. They know the dark of night stop is inevitable. Dark of night or no stop at all? Simple choice.

 

Likewise folks in Knoxville and Chattanooga can grasp the concept that there has to be an overnight segment coming from or going to the Northeast. An overnight train or no train at all? Simple choice.

 

And of course the population of Knoxville is about three times, 3 X, that of Bristol.

 

Maybe I shouldn't call it a "Bristol train" because it's not.


Edited by WoodyinNYC, 05 November 2017 - 12:10 PM.


#39 WoodyinNYC

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Posted 05 November 2017 - 12:12 PM

 no one has talked seriously about anything beyond Bristol AFAICT.

 

A small town Tennessee newspaper reported that officials from Virginia came and talked to local leaders about a future train such as we are discussing. Emphasis on "future". Part of this vision of the future included another train, Louisville-Lexington-Knoxville-Chattanooga-Atlanta; the overlapping segment in Tennessee could begin corridor type service.

 

I'm glad to think someone has been thinking ambitiously about the future. I could imagine a crisis, for instance, a nuclear temper tantrum in the Persian Gulf, or massive unemployment in another depression. That could have Congress throwing money at passenger rail projects. Would be nice if some plans were sort of "shovel ready" in such an emergency.



#40 Skyline

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Posted 05 November 2017 - 01:45 PM

No. The only thing that has been talked about with any remote semblance of seriousness is the through cars from the Pennsylvanian to the Cap. The rest is all different levels of frothing as far as I can tell.

Similarly, no one has talked seriously about anything beyond Bristol AFAICT.


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That's what I thought. Dreamers can dream tho.

 

A thru-coach from the westbound Pennsylvanian would require almost a 4-hour layover in PGH even if #29 is on time. Downtown PGH is quickly becoming a foodie destination, so maybe not terrible for those not wanting to sit in a coach much that time--they can catch a late dinner.

 

The eastbound #30 has a slightly shorter layover starting in the wee hours of early morning when connecting passengers may just want to grab more shuteye so no big deal.

 

The station facilities at PGH leave a lot to be desired. Basically a modified AmShack in the shadow of the once-great PRR Station which was converted to condos and a ballroom a generation ago.

 

So, one connecting thru-coach at Pittsburgh each way could be a start toward upgrading travel between NYP and CHI. But really, additional frequency would be better. If PA would commit funding, and additional equipment could be allocated, of course. Not holding my breath! PA's budget is too tight, and there are more pressing infrastructure needs.






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