Posts Tagged ‘Virginians for High Speed Rail’

Coalition Seeks East-West Route in Virginia

September 12, 2019

A coalition of rail passenger advocates is pushing for the development of east-west intercity service in Virginia.

Those involved in the coalition point out that most rail service in the state operates north and south and connects with Washington and points south.

Danny Plaugher, executive director of Virginians for High Speed Rail, said an east-west service would reduce highway traffic and better serve Virginia tourists.

“If somebody is visiting Virginia and they come down to the beach on a train today they have no opportunity to go out and see the trees and the leaves change or try out the breweries in western Virginia,” he said.

The coalition is proposing a service that links Hampton Roads, Richmond, Charlottesville, Lynchburg and Roanoke.

In its early years some of those cities were on a route of the George Washington/James Whitcomb Riley that ran west to Chicago.

That train is now Amtrak’s Cardinal and operates between Chicago and New York via Washington.

The first step toward reviving east-west service would be a feasibility study that the coalition is asking the state legislature to fund.

Plaugher believes an east-west train can be operational in five years.

Supporting the proposal are the Chambers of Commerce in Roanoke and Hampton Roads as well as the Southern Environmental Law Center.

Virginia Group Calls for Increased Rail Service

January 17, 2018

A Virginia rail passenger advocacy group is seeking to triple the number of trains serving Norfolk, Virginia.

A report released by Virginians for High Speed Rail calls for increasing the number of Amtrak trains departing Norfolk each day from one to 11. Nine of those new frequencies would operate at 90 mph to Washington, which would reduce the current travel time by an hour.

The State of Virginia recently said it plans to fund another roundtrip to Norfolk in 2019 and a third roundtrip in 2022.

The report by the passenger advocacy group said increasing rail service would reduce traffic congestion, cut pollution and grow the economy.

Also in the report is a proposal to instigate rail service to Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg and Radford University in Radford.

In their report, the Virginia group said that before service can be increased scheduling and technology issues must be addressed.