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mfs NJT459

Governor McDonnell Announces Norfolk Passenger Rail Service to Begin in 2012

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Governor McDonnell Announces Norfolk Passenger Rail Service to Begin in 2012

RICHMOND, VA. – Governor Bob McDonnell announced today that the expected start date of the Amtrak Virginia extension to/from Norfolk will begin by December 31, 2012. This moves the service to start 10 months earlier than originally projected.


“This service will provide immediate relief to road weary travelers between two of the state’s most congested regions” said Governor McDonnell. “This service is long overdue and I congratulate our partners and commend their cooperation in moving up the scheduled start date.”


The Commonwealth’s Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT), CSX, Norfolk Southern and the City of Norfolk have been working speedily to make the necessary upgrades for the service. The round-trip train will bring intercity passenger rail service to Norfolk for the first time since 1977, and will link Norfolk with a single-seat ride to Richmond, Washington, D.C. and cities as far north as Boston.


The updated timeline comes from today’s Commonwealth Transportation Board meeting where they passed a resolution outlining the new goals and start date.


“There is high demand for passenger rail service in Virginia as demonstrated by

considerable ridership growth throughout the Commonwealth,” said Amtrak Vice President of Government Affairs and Corporate Communications Joe McHugh. “We have a strong partnership with the Commonwealth and look forward to operating this expanded service to Norfolk in 2012, providing passengers the option of convenient one-seat service to Washington and Northeast Corridor destinations.”


The Norfolk train marks the third service expansion launched under the Amtrak Virginia partnership, which has introduced service to Richmond and Lynchburg since October 2009. Virginia is the 15th state to partner with Amtrak for intercity passenger rail service, and the successful launch of these new services is made possible through the partnership between DRPT, Amtrak and the host railroads along the routes. Amtrak Virginia routes had sizable gains in fiscal year 2011 over fiscal year 2010 with increases of 28.5 percent on the Washington-Lynchburg route and 19.1 percent on the Washington-Newport News route.


“This service is a win-win for Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia. The economies of these two regions are intertwined and getting this service operating will strengthen them both,” said Thelma Drake, Director of the Department of Rail and Public Transportation.

Edited by mfs NJT459
line break removal

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its still faster to take Southwest Airlines from ISP (Islip Airport) to BWI (Baltimore-Washington) then BWI to ORF (Norfolk Airport)

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This shows not everything goes according to plan and before you know it a construction project is either delayed or in this case to be finished much earlier then anticipated.


remember when the Port Jervis line finished its repairs earlier than expected from Irene?

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Wow; I had NO idea this was even being PLANNED; let alone opening THIS YEAR!

Makes sense, and you wonder why they didn't do it long before.

Now, it will be easier to get my wife, who hates buses, to visit down there with me. (Before, you could o

nly go as far as Newport News, and then take a bus from there).

I'll miss the Greyhound run from NYC, though! (And won't be able to return by the Eastern Shore, which is a 27 year old tradition for me).


The only thing I can't figure out is the connection in Petersburg. Looking at Google Maps (theSatellite photos are usually fairly updated), I don't see any signs of any of the proposed connections:

• Collier Connection (A line to NS Belt Line),

• Seacoast Connection (S Line to NS Belt Line),

• West Connection (S Line to NS Main Line),

• Ettrick Connection (A Line to NS Main Line via Ettrick Station), and

• Dunlop Connection (A Line to NS Main Line via original ACL main line through Colonial Heights).


To of the plans connects to a restored Seaboard Coast Line, which I don't see on the map at all.


The rports I have seen are all old; before it was finally decided

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OK; I see according to this report (from March of this year), it appears to be the Collier connection: http://drpt.virginia.gov/activities/norfolk.aspx


Also, pics http://www.blime.com/2012/petersburg-collier-connection-project-site/

(I guess the Google pics for that area must be over a year old).



(Is that the platform in Norfolk? Which Google Maps is that? In both satellite and Street View, it's nothing but barren ground without even a hint of construction).



(Includes design of station facility, which opens next year).

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