Posts Tagged ‘Christiansburg Virginia’

Virginia Lawmakers OK New Passenger Agency

February 26, 2021

Virginia lawmakers have approved creation of a passenger rail authority that would promote extending Amtrak service to the New River Valley region of the state.

The new service would be achieved by extending an existing Amtrak Northeast Regional train to Christiansburg, Virginia.

The new passenger authority would include government bodies and universities that are expected to share the cost of building and maintaining a station in Christiansburg.

Virginia legislators are still negotiating the funding for the new service.

Gov. Ralph Northam is seeking $50 million for rail passenger service, which is what the House of Delegates has approved. The Virginia Senate has approved $137 million.

Officials expect the cost of starting the service could reach $200 million.

Students Share Ideas for Proposed Amtrak Station

June 3, 2019

Christiansburg, Virginia, is a long way from getting an Amtrak station, but a group of students at nearby Virginia Tech University have created a plan for what that station might be.

The 15 architecture students were given a class project that one of them used to design a model station that would feature vertical louvers that could be adjusted throughout the year to keep heating and air costs down.

In the assignment, the students were told to design a real-life project, which turned out to be a train station for Christiansburg.

Although the ideas the students came up with may or may not be incorporated into the actual station that may be built someday, the professor overseeing the project said the primary purpose of the assignment was to bring attention to expanding passenger rail service.

“It helps to raise awareness and support for passenger rail,” said architecture professor Jack Davis. “It’s an undeveloped corridor of progress for Southwest Virginia.”

In their models, the students were instructed to take into account the actual landscape and conditions of the station’s targeted site in Christiansburg near the town Aquatic Center off Franklin Street.

That prompted one student to use layers of cardboard to reflect the site’s steep grade.

The intention was to require as little excavation as possible as well as take into account possible future growth.

All of the models therefore featured two station platforms rather than just one.

Another student, who said he had an interest in trains and had observed rail travel in Japan, designed an entrance building that directly connects to a bridge over the tracks and to another building that would have a cafe and seating area.

The designs drew [praise from Kevin Byrd, executive director of the New River Valley Regional Commission that is working to develop the station.

“I think it’s exciting when we’re able to utilize students right here in our backyard for some real-life applications,” he said. “All in all, they did a really good job.

Byrd acknowledged that officials are not yet close to designing the station to be used, but said the project “helps keep interest among the New River Valley rail leadership group.”

A recent study estimated that the cost of the station will be $4 million.

Officials are looking at creating an authority of Virginia Tech, Christiansburg, Blacksburg and Montgomery County to oversee creation of the station.

In the meantime city officials have begun acquiring land to be used for the station .

Christiansburg is located west of Roanoke, Virginia, which is the terminus of an Amtrak Northeast Regional route that is paid for by the state.

State and local officials have been seeking to extend that route further into southwest Virginia.

At one time Amtrak’s Hilltopper stopped in Christiansburg before it was discontinued on Oct. 1, 1979.

Virginia City to Buy Land for Amtrak Station

May 21, 2019

The town council of Christiansburg, Virginia, has agreed to buy nearly 7 acres of land for a proposed Amtrak station.

The land is located between Mill Lane and the Norfolk Southern tracks and is being purchased from Community Housing Partners.

The city is seeking to become a stop for a Northeast Regional train that now terminates and originates in Roanoke, Virginia.

It has sponsored a study that found establishing an Amtrak station in Christiansburg would attract 40,000 new passengers a year.

“We’re hopeful of economic development impacts and tourism impacts in Christiansburg and the whole New River Valley region,” said Town Manager Randy Wingfield. “I think we are very hopeful, otherwise we wouldn’t be buying the property.”

Virginia Amtrak Extension Stalls

December 10, 2018

A proposal to extend Amtrak service west of Roanoke, Virginia, has stalled due to the noncooperation of Norfolk Southern.

NS has withdrawn from the study, citing a need to untangle service issues in its network, particularly in Virginia.

The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation is conducting the $350,000 study of the feasibility to extend one Northeast Regional train to Christiansburg, which is located 28 miles southwest of Roanoke.

“They have told us that they are reluctant to talk to us now about extending passenger rail,” said Michael McLaughlin, the department’s chief of rail transportation.