Expanded Virginia Regional Service

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Re: Expanded Virginia Regional Service

Postby BAR » Thu Feb 14, 2019 2:57 pm

Ashland does have a stop and is served by several trains daily in both directions. Station is still standing and used by the Chamber of Commerce but no Amtrak agent.

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Re: Expanded Virginia Regional Service

Postby Arlington » Thu Feb 14, 2019 3:02 pm

Messed up describing Ashland (that's the one with two tracks through the middle of town at a controversy around not wanting a third track)
https://www.google.com/amp/s/ggwash.org/view/amp/65535

There's a general station problem between Fredericksburg and Richmond, but there is a station at Ashland itself.
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Re: Expanded Virginia Regional Service

Postby Arlington » Thu Feb 14, 2019 3:07 pm

I believe I have read a proposal for a bus that would run from Martinsburg WV (MARC & Capitol LTD) to Winchester VA on I-81 and there proceed on route 7 to Dulles airport. (Essentially retracing the route of the vanished Washington and Old Dominion railroad)
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Re: Expanded Virginia Regional Service

Postby gokeefe » Thu Feb 14, 2019 5:47 pm

Arlington wrote:And given that slots across the Long Bridge and on CSX/NS will always be valuable, I don't see them ever trading down to smaller trains as the price of being more frequent.


Agreed. The issue here is that in my opinion the growth curve is so steep that "half empty south of DC" simply isn't going to be the case for much longer. And I would double down on that thought given today's news from Amazon.
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Re: Expanded Virginia Regional Service

Postby Bob Roberts » Thu Feb 14, 2019 6:05 pm

gokeefe wrote:Agreed. The issue here is that in my opinion the growth curve is so steep that "half empty south of DC" simply isn't going to be the case for much longer. And I would double down on that thought given today's news from Amazon.


Admittedly this is only one of the many daily trains but I am regularly on the Carolinian between DC and CLT. No matter the time of year the train is _always_ packed from DC to Raleigh.
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Re: Expanded Virginia Regional Service

Postby east point » Fri Feb 15, 2019 3:25 am

Bob Roberts wrote:[
Admittedly this is only one of the many daily trains but I am regularly on the Carolinian between DC and CLT. No matter the time of year the train is _always_ packed from DC to Raleigh.



Appreciate that feed back. It is only your observation that some may question. You may travel mainly on the same days of the week however once the new CLT lay over facility is complete is there any indication that additional cars may be added?. Your observation is one more plus for the SE HrSR project over the "S" line to go forward. We note that DC - RGH seems always heavily booked. Have you ever talked to other passenger as to their travel wishes over the Carolinian route?
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Re: Expanded Virginia Regional Service

Postby Arlington » Fri Feb 15, 2019 9:27 am

I really do think there's a role in Virginia regional service to work with North Carolina on a 6am northbound from both RGH (on CSX) and CLT (on NCRR + NS) (and a return that arrives at 11pm ish.
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Re: Expanded Virginia Regional Service

Postby gokeefe » Fri Feb 15, 2019 11:47 am

Agreed, they need another frequency of the Carolinian. Perhaps call this one the Virginian.
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Re: Expanded Virginia Regional Service

Postby electricron » Fri Feb 15, 2019 1:30 pm

Arlington wrote:I really do think there's a role in Virginia regional service to work with North Carolina on a 6am northbound from both RGH (on CSX) and CLT (on NCRR + NS) (and a return that arrives at 11pm ish.

So you want two trains departing north from Charlotte in the mornings, one taking the long way via Raleigh to DC and NYC, and anther taking the short way via Lynchburg. Why? Doesn’t the Virginia subsidize train from Lynchburg depart in the morning?
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Re: Expanded Virginia Regional Service

Postby Arlington » Fri Feb 15, 2019 3:26 pm

To be clear, my northbound from Charlotte would follow the Crescent's route and the goal would be to have it serve Charlotte at times that would be useful for Virginians (the Crescent's current times in Charlotte are useful for nobody). I would propose that it stop at an infill station between Danville and Lynchburg.

But I also know and that the trains that work best are the ones that start in the hinterlands early and to get to DC whenever, and then leave DC at a time that allows them to get back to home base by about 11 p.m.

whatever North Carolina decides is useful for its people is going to be a solution that is good for the economy of Virginia. The Crescent route clearly needs another train whose scheduule works at both the DC and Charlotte ends, and whatever works there will work in the middle for Virginians going in either direction.

For Raleigh I would picture a train that started northbound at 5:45 a.m. (3 hours earlier than the Silver Star) and ran 3 hours later than the Silver Star in the evening (getting to Raleigh at midnight) And, it would stop in Ashland Virginia (the Star seems not to). Here again a train that is well-timed at both the Raleigh and Washington ends would of necessity work well for Virginians in between going in either direction.

Plenty of kids from northern Virginia go to school at the Winston-Salem and Charlotte and the things or at the Raleigh-Durham end. Plenty of Virginians would also have business in both places.
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Re: Expanded Virginia Regional Service

Postby mtuandrew » Fri Feb 15, 2019 5:07 pm

Arlington: that sounds like the nucleus of a NYP-ATL day train akin to the Palmetto.
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Re: Expanded Virginia Regional Service

Postby Philly Amtrak Fan » Fri Feb 15, 2019 5:29 pm

It would be nice to see some one seat service from Boston/New England to somewhere south of Virginia (Carolinas, Atlanta, even Florida). Also, if the Carolinian can be extended to Boston, it can go over 750 miles so it might qualify as a long distance train rather than a state funded one. BOS-CLT probably can't make it as a day train and stay within 7am-midnight though. Maybe the Night Owl could go to Carolina/CLT instead of Newport News. Virginia shouldn't monopolize all of the Shore Line East slots.
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Re: Expanded Virginia Regional Service

Postby Arlington » Fri Feb 15, 2019 5:39 pm

mtuandrew wrote:Arlington: that sounds like the nucleus of a NYP-ATL day train akin to the Palmetto.

I'll save that for another thread :wink:

I think a case can be made that Virginia would be the main beneficiary of perfectly-timed trains that started in NC "a little too early" and got back "a little too late" At the same time, Virginia has proven that State supported trains can work at these fringes-of-the-day timings, and essentially starts its own services on the hours that I'm recommending NC adopt. So the win-win is:
Virginia should pay the bulk because it is
(1) making perfect trains for Virginia
(2) has the bulk of the stations,

NC would justify its role by
(1) making useful trains for CLT & RGH
(2) making *very* useful trains for Salisbury, High Point, & Greensboro-Winston-Salem

And part of the premise here is that RGH and CLT have the ability to overnight trains, crew them, and launch them in a way that Danville VA and Emporia VA never will or should.

Roughly something like these in bold.

RALEIGH (new Va+NC train on Star route)
Northbound from RGH
6:00A Va+NC (WAS 12:00 NYP 4:10p) (too early to start on NCRR, and time to get to Boston)
8:45A Silver Star (WAS 2:40p NYP 6:50p)
10:13A Carolinian (WAS 4:30p NYP 8:40p)

Southbound to RGH
7:25A Carolinian from NYP (WAS 10:45 RGH 5:10p)
11:02A Silver Star from NYP (WAS 3:05p RGH 9:00p)
2:00P Va+NC NYP (WAS 6:05p RGH 12mid) (and could have come from Boston, not worth going onward on NCRR)

CHARLOTTE (new Va+NC train on Crescent route)
Northbound from CLT
1:46am Crescent (WAS 10am, NYP1:45p) (painful for NC & Virginians on Crescent Route)
5:46am Va+NC (WAS 2pm, NYP 5:45pm...and time to get to BOS)
6:45am Carolinian (WAS 4:30p NYP 8:40p) (not useful to Virginians on Crescent route)
12:46pm Va+NC#2 (WAS 8pm NYP 11:45p) (COULD EVENTUALLY BE THE 6AM from ATL)

Southbound to CLT
6:15a Va+NC from NYP (WAS 10:00a CLT 6:20pm) (COULD EVENTUALLY BE THE DAY TRAIN TO ATL)
7:25a Carolinian from NYP (WAS 10:45a CLT 8:42p) (not useful to Virginians on Crescent route)
11:15am Va+NC#2 from NYP (WAS 3p CLT 11:20pm) (3hrs ahead of the Crescent)
2:15p Crescent from NYP (WAS 6:00p CLT 2:20am) (painful for NC & Virginians on Crescent Route)
Last edited by Arlington on Fri Feb 15, 2019 6:10 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Expanded Virginia Regional Service

Postby gokeefe » Fri Feb 15, 2019 5:53 pm

Arlington wrote:whatever North Carolina decides is useful for its people is going to be a solution that is good for the economy of Virginia. The Crescent route clearly needs another train whose schedule works at both the DC and Charlotte ends, and whatever works there will work in the middle for Virginians going in either direction.

I didn't pickup on this initially. Couldn't agree more with the utility of this train. Lots of new options would open up that would support strong ridership all along the route.
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Re: Expanded Virginia Regional Service

Postby mtuandrew » Fri Feb 15, 2019 9:28 pm

That schedule is beautiful, Arlington, and I’ll contact my state and Federal reps to see if it can come true. Kudos.
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