• Fort Lee to Fort A.P. Hill: Army looks at troop trains

  • A general discussion about shortlines, industrials, and military railroads
A general discussion about shortlines, industrials, and military railroads

Moderator: Aa3rt

  by RailVet
I checked with an Army employee familiar with rail developments in the Army and he replied, "Haven't heard anything either. It is one thing to own some equipment. It is quite another to have the money in hand and come to agreement with the three railroads - CSXT, NS, AMTK - and a maintenance contractor."
  by Jeff Smith
I went to the source and emailed the POC about the project:

Dated: 26 July 2011
Mr. Smith,

What I can tell you about the current status of this project is that we are proceeding with the acquisition of the train. We anticipate having it at Fort Lee by September, but do not have a set date for its operational use. There are various contracting issues we are still working through, and inspections and test runs must be conducted before we put Soldiers on the train.

Once operational, using the train will eliminate about 100 bus trips per month between Fort Lee and Fort A.P. Hill, helping to reduce local traffic congestion.

All the best,

Stephen J. Baker
Deputy Director of Public Affairs
Media Relations Officer
U.S. Army Garrison
Fort Lee, VA 23801
  by Jeff Smith
Quote from the above article, and thanks for finding that!
Date published: 7/27/2011


The Army could have a test run as early as this fall of a troop train to carry soldiers from Fort Lee to Fort A.P. Hill.

But the train, to replace a fleet of buses running between Petersburg and Caroline County on Interstate 95, won't begin service until some remaining contract issues are resolved.

The Army several months ago signed a contract with Virginia Railway Express to acquire three locomotives and 10 gallery-style passenger cars for $250,000. VRE had purchased the cars from Metro.

Stephen Baker, a spokesman at Fort Lee, said yesterday that the equipment should be on hand by September. Then test runs would be done before any troops are aboard.

"We're still working through some contracting issues," he said, so there's no firm date when the train would begin transporting soldiers to Fort A.P. Hill.
  by RailVet
All of the rail equipment the Army plans to use for its troop trains is still in VRE hands and currently stored at its yards south of Fredericksburg, in Bristow, and on NS track at Strasburg Junction. Presumably the Army will take possession of it in the near future if it intends to have Amtrak operate a test run between the two Army posts.
  by RailVet
A couple of months ago I heard there might be a test run of former VRE equipment for troop train use between Fort Lee and Fort A. P. Hill in September; however, I passed through Fort Lee on Sep 18 and there's absolutely no sign of progress (e.g., no changes to the warehouse area where the tracks are located), and at last report the equipment purchased from VRE is still being stored in VRE storage yards near Manassas and Fredericksburg. While no passenger equipment is present, "Anzio Annie," the large WW II Wehrmacht rail gun, is there and parked near the rail gate on the north side of post.
  by RailVet
The first four ex-VRE cars have arrived at Fort Lee:

http://www2.timesdispatch.com/news/stat ... r-1413388/

Fort Lee receives first cars for pilot passenger rail program
By: Times-Dispatch Staff
Published: October 27, 2011

Fort Lee has received the first four passenger cars for an Army train to transport soldiers by rail from the Prince George County post to Fort A.P. Hill for field training exercises.

The first bilevel cars for the Combined Arms Support Command pilot program arrived Wednesday at Fort Lee. The Army expects the trains to start running early in 2012.

The Army will also acquire an additional six bilevel passenger cars and three locomotives. The passenger train will be owned by the government and operated under contract.

The passenger train is the service's first since the Cold War-era Berlin Duty Train was deactivated about 25 years ago.

"Transporting large numbers of service members via the I-95 corridor presents a high safety risk" compared with rail travel, the Combined Arms Support Command said.

Currently, buses make about 80 round trips a year to take Fort Lee soldiers to and from A.P. Hill at an annual cost of about $573,000, the Army said.

Fort Lee said it anticipates that the rail program will cost more than using buses, though the amount is yet to be determined since the contract is still pending.

Fort Lee, near Petersburg, is about 60 miles south of A.P Hill, in Caroline County near Fredericksburg.

(Note: The Berlin Duty Train made its last run in December 1990, not 25 years ago.)
  by Aa3rt
Here's a video posted on Youtube of the first equipment arriving in Fort Lee:

  by davinp
Here's video of the first 4 of 10 old gallery cars the VRE sold to the US Army arriving in Fort Lee.
I don't know why the NS locomotive is shipping the cars so so slowly. VRE doesn't operate that slowly.
Army officials say these railcars are safer than bus


  by strench707
davinp wrote:I don't know why the NS locomotive is shipping the cars so so slowly. VRE doesn't operate that slowly.
I don't think NS cares how fast VRE runs.... Different track, different railroad, different speed. They are no longer VRE's cars anyways....

  by RailVet
A couple of days ago a CSX employee noted the presence of these Fort Lee-bound cars at the south end of the South Yard of Acca Yard:

Gallery Cars


As of this morning they're on their way to NS and delivery to Fort Lee.
  by RailVet
Reportedly Amtrak crews will operate the trains; however, I'm not sure when they'll start. When the cars were in storage near Strasburg, VA, they were reportedly broken into by thieves ripping out valuable wiring, etc. These problems will have to be corrected before they can be put into service.
  by mtuandrew
kevin.brackney wrote:I wonder which costs more: Repairing the damage, or contracting security to prevent it?
One would think that a Stryker platoon would be pretty good security. :wink:

(yes, it's far cheaper to hire private guards rather than splitting up a unit, but it's an amusing thought!)