• “Transforming Rail in Virginia”

  • Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.
Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, mtuandrew, Tadman

  by davinp
 
Plan would double Amtrak service, increase VRE trains

Formal agreements between CSX, Amtrak and Virginia Railway Express were signed Tuesday, clearing the way for further work on the state’s $3.7 billion Transforming Rail in Virginia project.

By 2030, Northam’s plan would nearly double the number of Virgina-supported Amtrak trains for roughly hourly peak service from Washington, D.C. to Richmond, and increase VRE service by about 60%, including weekend service for the commuter rail.

https://www.insidenova.com/headlines/no ... 94ba0.html
  by Jeff Smith
 
Money money money..... money!

Or plans at least: https://www.railwayage.com/passenger/vi ... nitiative/

I know this was discussed in the VA NEC thread, but it probably deserves its own topic. Here's the VA NEC thread: amtrak-nec-virginia-regional-service-t65322-420.html
The Commonwealth of Virginia, Amtrak, CSX and Virginia Railway Express (VRE) have finalized agreements for a $3.7 billion initiative to improve Virginia passenger and freight rail capacity and relieve automotive traffic congestion.

The “Transforming Rail in Virginia” initiative, which Gov. Ralph Northam unveiled in December 2019, will “expand Amtrak and VRE rail services, create a pathway for the separation of freight and passenger rail in Virginia, and preserve future rail corridors.” It covers:

• Construction of a $1.9 billion double-track passenger-rail-dedicated bridge over the Potomac River. Virginia-owned, it will be built adjacent to the existing CSX-owned and operated Long Bridge, the only freight and passenger rail bridge connecting Virginia and Washington, D.C.

• Acquisition from CSX of 386 miles of railroad right-of-way and 223 miles of track at a cost of $525 million. This includes “half of the rail corridor right-of-way from Washington, D.C., to Petersburg, Va., the full extent of CSX ownership from Petersburg to Ridgeway, N.C., and the entire corridor from Doswell to Clifton Forge [Virginia],” according to the Governor’s Office. With the exception of Ashland, Va., “the right-of-way from Washington, D.C., to Richmond is wide enough to construct a four-track corridor, with two tracks dedicated to passenger rail, and when fully built out will allow separate passenger and freight movement.”
...
  by Alex M
 
One line not up for acquisition by VA is the former C&O track from Doswell to downtown Richmond at AM junction. I wonder if CSX plans to route freights that do not need to set off and pick up at Acca over this line? Does this mean that Collier yard in Petersburg will see more of this activity? I realize that clearance restricts what can pass under the James River sub at the triple crossing.
  by WhartonAndNorthern
 
Alex M wrote: Wed Mar 31, 2021 4:06 pm One line not up for acquisition by VA is the former C&O track from Doswell to downtown Richmond at AM junction. I wonder if CSX plans to route freights that do not need to set off and pick up at Acca over this line? Does this mean that Collier yard in Petersburg will see more of this activity? I realize that clearance restricts what can pass under the James River sub at the triple crossing.
Been thinking about this for a while especially w.r.t. the Ashland bottleneck.
So the first problem is most trains recrew at Acca anyway.
The second problem is there's no connecting track at Doswell to go North on the RF&P. I mean they could condemn the antique shop on the Northeast corner of the diamond or pull a coal drag all the way across the diamond, shove back onto the RF&P and then head north but I doubt it. It does make sense for the Newell/Grafton/Metiki coal drags to Newport News if they can be recrewed at Fulton Yard.
The third problem is that Virginia wants to use the S Line (Bellwood Sub) from Acca, through Main Street Station to Centralia for all passenger trains. Most traffic except for the above mentioned Newport News coal tends to run south along the A Line. The only way to get a N-S freight onto this Doswell connection is to use the S Line to AM Junction where it connects with the Old C&O. If the pax route is the S Line, keep the freight on the A Line
The fourth problem: clearances as you mentioned, this eliminates double stacks as well as autoracks carried in mixed freights.
  by west point
 
Until the 2 new tracks next to Long Bridge is complete the following needs to be done.
1. Build the 4 tracks from 1st street tunnel exit to the river connecting them to the present 2 tracks over the bridge.
2. That will require 1 or 2 new bridges as well in DC.
3. Just south of the ridge build the additional 4th track to Alexandria.
4. These 2 tracks will just leave the additional bridge as an impediment but passenger trains would then not conflict with freights except at the present Long Bridge.

This would allow for a slight increase in passenger trains .
  by electricron
 
I thought VRE had capacity limits at DC’s Union Station with few places to park their trains during the day. To run more trains, they either have to build more storage tracks in DC or start running reverse direction trains.
  by Rockingham Racer
 
electricron wrote: Wed Mar 31, 2021 8:46 pm I thought VRE had capacity limits at DC’s Union Station with few places to park their trains during the day. To run more trains, they either have to build more storage tracks in DC or start running reverse direction trains.

Isn't there a move to establish regional rail between MARC and VRE. Pool the equipment, and run trains through Union Station, instead of terminating there.
  by MikeBPRR
 
Rockingham Racer wrote: I thought VRE had capacity limits at DC’s Union Station with few places to park their trains during the day. To run more trains, they either have to build more storage tracks in DC or start running reverse direction trains.

Right? I know it would take some doing in terms of qualifying crews, but is there a reason why they couldn’t at least interline a few trains north through Union Station for reverse commuters along the Camden Line and NEC? I understand not running them south, as there are no outbound trains on VRE until at least midday (which I don’t understand).
  by STrRedWolf
 
MikeBPRR wrote: Thu Apr 01, 2021 11:11 am Right? I know it would take some doing in terms of qualifying crews, but is there a reason why they couldn’t at least interline a few trains north through Union Station for reverse commuters along the Camden Line and NEC? I understand not running them south, as there are no outbound trains on VRE until at least midday (which I don’t understand).
It's called high-platform stations, and I'll summarize it here (we've talked about it in other threads in the DC-area section). VRE equipment is low-platform only. For the various lines:
  • Penn Line/NEC: Mostly high-platform. Would have to exit out of one set of doors on a tiny low-platform access, and Baltimore doesn't really have a low platform available. Operationally difficult.
  • Camden Line: Mostly low platform save for two stations (Greenbelt, Camden Yards).
  • Brunswick Line: Low platform... but to get to it from the through-track requires crossing the entire damn K-Tower interlock and hold up everything going in and out. IE Operationally difficult.
So you can't really use VRE equipment. You gotta use MARC equipment, which can handle both high and low platforms. You still can't use Brunswick Line. You gotta talk CSX into it. And so you gotta put the VRE equipment in the MARC/VRE yard for the mid-day.
  by Red Wing
 
And as new equipment gets cycled in modifications can be made. The biggest problem is having 2 states and multiple railroads playing nice together.
  by scratchyX1
 
STrRedWolf wrote: Thu Apr 01, 2021 12:05 pm
MikeBPRR wrote: Thu Apr 01, 2021 11:11 am Right? I know it would take some doing in terms of qualifying crews, but is there a reason why they couldn’t at least interline a few trains north through Union Station for reverse commuters along the Camden Line and NEC? I understand not running them south, as there are no outbound trains on VRE until at least midday (which I don’t understand).
It's called high-platform stations, and I'll summarize it here (we've talked about it in other threads in the DC-area section). VRE equipment is low-platform only. For the various lines:
  • Penn Line/NEC: Mostly high-platform. Would have to exit out of one set of doors on a tiny low-platform access, and Baltimore doesn't really have a low platform available. Operationally difficult.
  • Camden Line: Mostly low platform save for two stations (Greenbelt, Camden Yards).
  • Brunswick Line: Low platform... but to get to it from the through-track requires crossing the entire damn K-Tower interlock and hold up everything going in and out. IE Operationally difficult.
So you can't really use VRE equipment. You gotta use MARC equipment, which can handle both high and low platforms. You still can't use Brunswick Line. You gotta talk CSX into it. And so you gotta put the VRE equipment in the MARC/VRE yard for the mid-day.
There is the one unused low platform at Baltimore Penn, which seems to be for freights to pass by.
But it's a question of which companies crew to run it. Which is why an overarching agency is required for fitting these bit together.
  by Rockingham Racer
 
Red Wing wrote: Thu Apr 01, 2021 12:29 pm And as new equipment gets cycled in modifications can be made. The biggest problem is having 2 states and multiple railroads playing nice together.
Exactly why the Amtrak corridors model is doomed.
  by STrRedWolf
 
scratchyX1 wrote: Thu Apr 01, 2021 1:49 pm There is the one unused low platform at Baltimore Penn, which seems to be for freights to pass by.
But it's a question of which companies crew to run it. Which is why an overarching agency is required for fitting these bit together.
Freights are on the F track next to track 7.

There are two low level platforms. Track 1 is reserved for MTA Maryland Light Rail and it uses that platform. Tracks 2 and 3 are storage tracks, and the stairway from gate B needs to be rebuilt (I wouldn't call it safe). The area around the elevator at gate A is used as storage for the cafe.
  by MikeBPRR
 
STrRedWolf wrote: Thu Apr 01, 2021 12:05 pm It's called high-platform stations, and I'll summarize it here (we've talked about it in other threads in the DC-area section). VRE equipment is low-platform only. For the various lines:
  • Penn Line/NEC: Mostly high-platform. Would have to exit out of one set of doors on a tiny low-platform access, and Baltimore doesn't really have a low platform available. Operationally difficult.
  • Camden Line: Mostly low platform save for two stations (Greenbelt, Camden Yards).
  • Brunswick Line: Low platform... but to get to it from the through-track requires crossing the entire damn K-Tower interlock and hold up everything going in and out. IE Operationally difficult.
I never knew that regarding the platforms and VRE’s equipment. Thank you. I just assumed that since Virginia has been investing a lot in its railroads that they were also using high-level platforms and equipment compatible with level boarding. Serves me right. Looking at Google Maps, it doesn’t look like there is much in the way of space for expanded VRE storage.