Posts Tagged ‘Charlottesville Virginia’

Flying Away From Charlottesville

May 21, 2020

Amtrak’s westbound Cardinal is but a few seconds into continuing its trip to Chicago as it leaves the station in Charlottesville, Virginia.

This is one of the few places where multiple Amtrak routes cross at grade level.

The tracks in the foreground are used by Amtrak’s New York-New Orleans Crescent and a Northeast Regional train between Washington and Roanoke, Virginia.

The Crescent and the Roanoke train operate daily whereas the Cardinal only calls upon Charlottesville on Sunday, Wednesday and Friday.

Train Time in Charlottesville

May 17, 2020

An Amtrak conductor works the baggage car as Amtrak Train No. 51 boards passengers in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The Cardinal, which stops in Charlottesville on Sunday, Wednesday and Friday, had what was a standard consist in summer 2012 of one P42DC locomotive, a baggage car, a Viewliner sleeper, Amfleet food service car and three Amfleet coaches.

In spring and summer 2020 the Cardinal’s consist had shrunk to a sleeper, two coaches and one food service car.

The consist may be longer on some days between Chicago and Indianapolis when Nos. 50 or 51 are ferrying equipment to and from the Beech Grove shops in suburban Indy.

Train Time in Charlottesville

March 3, 2020

Amtrak’s eastbound Cardinal has arrived in Charlottesville and there is much going on here.

At the time this photograph was made in early June 2012, Charlottesville was a crew change point for the operating crews.

The station agent had baggage to load and unload and, of course, passengers boarded and disembarked.

Charlottesville is home to the University of Virginia and college towns tend to generate a lot of business for Amtrak.

The Cardinal only lands here three times a week in each direction on Sunday, Wednesday and Friday.

Megabus to Serve Charlottesville Amtrak Station

May 14, 2019

It won’t be a Thruway service, but a new connecting bus route will soon be operating at the Amtrak station in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Megabus said it will begin offering service between the station and Dulles International Airport starting on May 16.

The bus will operate daily except Tuesday and Wednesday.

Megabus said the bus will operate once a day on Monday, Thursday and Saturday with twice a day service on Friday and Sunday.

Dillons Bus Service is operating the service on behalf of Megabus. The buses will pick up and discharge passengers near the Seventh Street SW entrance to the station.

Charlottesville Station May be Expanded

September 7, 2017

Design plans have been submitted to the Charlottesville (Virginia) Board of Architectural Review for an expansion of the city’s Amtrak station.

The plans show show a two-story addition on the rail-side of the station, a new baggage claim area, and an expanded waiting room.

In 2016 the Charlottesville station served five times the number of passengers that it did when Amtrak began using the facility.

“It’s really necessary. It’s no longer adequate to serve the needs of the passengers,” said Meredith Richards of the CvilleRail and the Piedmont Rail Coalition. “They pack in here like sardines. When that train is coming, the passengers are packed tight, they have their luggage, there’s not enough space.

The architectural review board will discuss the station expansion plans at its meeting on Tuesday, September 19.

Although the Charlottesville station is a former Southern Railway depot, it is now privately owned.

Braddock Inn on the Cardinal

October 18, 2016


One of the special treats of photographing Amtrak trains is that on occasion there will be a private car on the rear. Such was the case with the westbound Cardinal departing Charlottesville, Virginia, with car Braddock Inn.

The former Pennsylvania Railroad car is owned by the The West Virginia-based Collis P. Huntington Railroad Historical Society and was built in 1949 as a roomette-sleeper. It was assigned to the Indianapolis Limited through the 1950s.

The Pennsy subsequently rebuilt the car into a 64-seat coach that it named Peter Schhoenberger. In 1963, the car was painted into a silver stainless steel livery and renumbered 1509.

The car would later run in commuter service for Penn Central, New Jersey Transit and Maryland Area Regional Commuter service. MARC restored the car in 1964 to first class service, operating it as a café-parlor car on commuter runs between Washington and Martinsburg, West Virginia.

The Huntington Society purchased the car in 2004 for use on its annual New River Train excursions and other trips on Amtrak trains.

It is shown in July 2012 crossing the Norfolk Southern mainline between Washington and Atlanta.

The Cardinal Lands in Charlottesville

September 21, 2016


It is a July afternoon in Charlottesville, Virginia. Amtrak’s tri-weekly Cardinal is scheduled to arrive from both Chicago and New York.

In fact, the Cardinal calls in Charlottesville in both directions three days a week, Sunday, Wednesday and Friday. That is not the case on the western end of the route where the Cardinal arrives in Chicago on Monday, but doesn’t depart again until Tuesday.

Otherwise, Nos. 50 and 51 arrives and departs Chicago on the same day, Thursday and Saturday.

I had some free time during a vacation trip so I made it a point to venture to the Amtrak station to catch the Cardinal. It is a train I used to ride when I lived in Indianapolis, but since leaving there in 1991 I seldom see the Cardinal.

On this day, No. 50 has its then standard consist of one P42DC, a Heritage Fleet baggage car, one Viewliner sleeper, a food service car and three Amfleet II coaches.

Since making this image four years, ago, the Heritage Fleet baggage car has been replaced by a Viewliner baggage car and the train now seems to routinely have two Viewliner sleepers.

It has been a long time since the Cardinal had a full-service dining car. Maybe it will get one when the new Viewliner dining car order is completed by CAF USA. And maybe the dining car will arrive, but the food service will be little different than it is today.

Change in Amtrak service on trains such as the Cardinal seems to be incremental. This train is unlikely to ever be confused with the George Washington, the one-time premier train of the Chesapeake & Ohio, whose tracks the Cardinal uses between Cincinnati and Washington.

But then maybe it doesn’t need to be. Given the history of the Cardinal and how political pressure is all that saved it back in the 1980s, having any service at all is a good thing.