Jeff Smith wrote: ↑Sun May 10, 2020 1:29 pm
njt/mnrrbuff wrote: ↑Fri May 08, 2020 5:10 pm
Within the next decade as part of the improvements for Virginia to buy the RF&P and the possibility of the S-Line being reactivated, Virginia DOT, NCDOT is going to give Amtrak the approval to run four additional Carolinian trains each way from NYP to Charlotte and back. In addition, NCDOT is going to allow Amtrak to add some more Piedmont trains. With the addition of the increased Amtrak frequencies in the next 10 years, it's going to be critical to have that brand new yard built west of Charlotte.
Although off-topic, allowing that it was in response to Mr. Roberts, to whom I defer on all matters NC, I'm going to answer with a question: Where do you think Amtrak is going to find four slots (eight round trip) in the North River Tunnels? Or will VA acquiesce to NC plans, since they'll own the ROW?What's your source? Also, who's funding this? My impression is the Piedmont and Carolinian are NC funded, not Amtrak.
NOTE: I"ll move this to the NC topic, and edit out the OT portion in this thread. No harm, no foul.
Those four trips trips are part of the broader SEHSR initiative. The plan is for 4 new roundtrips between New York and North Carolina (3 terminating in Charlotte, 1 terminating in Raleigh) using the reactivated S-Line. The Carolinian would continue to run once a day along its existing route, and there would be 4 Piedmont round trips a day for a grand total of 8 round trips a day between Charlotte and Raleigh, and 6 round trips between New York and Raleigh (including the Silver Star, which as previously mentioned, would be rerouted over the S-Line).
These pictures are from Chapter 2
of the DC2RVA Draft Environmental Impact Statement
. Here's current service between DC and Richmond. Red lines are the Virginia NE Regionals, green is Auto Train, purple is Carolinian, the blue lines in the center show the Palmetto and Silver Palm/Meteor. The top left corner shows the Roanoke NE Regional, Crescent and Cardinal. The map is slightly outdated as it doesn't show the 2nd round trip to Norfolk that started last year, but you get the point.
Here's the full SEHSR plan.
You can see the addition of 9 SEHSR trips - the 4 new North Carolina trips and 5 new Virginia Regionals. Also shown are proposals to add a 2nd Lynchburg/Roanoke Regional, make the Cardinal a daily train, and extend two Virginia Regionals from Richmond to Norfolk (this includes the 2nd trip to Norfolk added last year) - these are not part of SEHSR. The Richmond to Raleigh Final EIS (all compiled in a gigantic 1,100 page document)
also talks about it a bit around pgs 19-23, 111-112, and 119-125.
The plan Virginia laid out earlier this year
for expanded NE Regional service by 2030 is its very incremental implementation of SEHSR.
Of course funding is the big question mark for SEHSR. Aside from the partial RF&P right-of-way purchased by Virginia, and the sidings scattered here and there, I don't think any of the SEHSR-specific infrastructure is funded yet. The Final EIS for both the DC2RVA
and Raleigh-Richmond segments are fairly silent in this regard. In terms of operating costs, the new Virginia regionals would be funded by VA, and I assume the four North Carolina round trips would be funded by North Carolina just like the Carolinian. Again barring the specific improvements
Virginia has targeted for 2030, I don't think there's a timeline for anything SEHSR either. Better hope VA and NC can claw something from infrastructure week.
There's also no concrete details in the FEIS on how these trains would fit on the NEC, but I would assume most or all of them will just be extensions of Regionals ending at Washington. I don't know to what extent NEC schedules will change over the next decade or two, but just looking at the existing timetable, in a scenario where all the infrastructure and slots are there to allow it, and you're willing to sacrifice some evenness in the schedule, you could extend ten round trips south from WAS and have most of them arrive/depart Charlotte/Raleigh/Richmond/Newport News/Norfolk at decent daylight times (with a few 3/4 AM departures)
Bob Roberts wrote: ↑Fri May 15, 2020 4:49 pm
RE: Virginia funding for the Carolinian.
I read about this a while back and I am 96% sure that NC pays 100% of the state-supported cost of the Carolinian. Keep in mind that cost is low in normal times as the train pays 95%(ish) of its costs. The article linked below suggests (but does not confirm) that NC is the only contributor to the train.
That's right, Virginia doesn't contribute a dime to the Carolinian. On the DPRT website listing Virginia's financial contributions to Amtrak, the Carolinian isn't mentioned at all. Virginia's statewide rail plan
, pgs. 13-14) also explicitly mentions that the train is supported by North Carolina (though it does mislabel the Carolinian as an LD train that happens to be supported by NC).