Virginia rail expansion plans

1109 views
21 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    December 2007
  • From: Georgia USA SW of Atlanta
  • 9,554 posts
Virginia rail expansion plans
Posted by blue streak 1 on Friday, December 20, 2019 1:12 AM

Virginia buying back the RF&P for  $525M  (edit corrected figure !!)

This is too much to believe. Cannot take time as post was lost due to power failure but this has so many parts. Long bridge, Ashlland, 4 tracking to Richmond, Richmond - Petersburgh, "S" line purchase, BBr RR, Hourly service,possible Electrification all way to Raleigh, Another trip next year WASH <> RVR,  r

One statement is purchase of 1/2 of ROW WASH - Richmond which is ppuzzling 

https://www.richmond.com/news/virginia/plus/virginia-has-billion-deal-to-expand-rail-service-between-richmond/article_460c07a4-84d1-5b0c-9c0f-6dd384d7aa7b.html 

https://wtop.com/dc-transit/2019/12/major-amtrak-vre-expansion-set-under-3-7-billion-virginia-csx-deal/ 

https://www.governor.virginia.gov/newsroom/all-releases/2019/december/headline-850120-en.html?fbclid=IwAR2lEeZEB67R1Muk5LsCTKa26_s-1rZeJdvLuYmTzUQegIGOkogILNqG5qs 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/virginia-to-build-long-bridge-and-acquire-csx-right-of-way-to-expand-passenger-train-service/2019/12/19/c021ffbc-ff08-11e9-8bab-0fc209e065a8_story.html 

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 10,082 posts
Posted by Overmod on Friday, December 20, 2019 1:35 AM

Damn cool if you ask me - Government putting its money where most governments only mouth consultant studies.

I'm highly interested in how VA interacts with CSX in planning PSR freight operation expediently around the presumptively increased VRE and other passenger traffic.  Balt I think is the closest to knowing what is involved in the detail and what adjustments will need to be made.

  • Member since
    December 2007
  • From: Georgia USA SW of Atlanta
  • 9,554 posts
Posted by blue streak 1 on Friday, December 20, 2019 1:53 AM
  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 10,082 posts
Posted by Overmod on Friday, December 20, 2019 2:49 AM

Can someone tell me more about what Virginia plans to do with the S line?  They'd almost have to coordinate with NC, and perhaps other states...

  • Member since
    December 2012
  • 267 posts
Posted by A McIntosh on Friday, December 20, 2019 7:47 AM

Since VA once owned a portion of the old RF&P prior to the early 1990's They should have acquired the whole thing at that time and lease it to CSX as NC does the NCRR to NS.

  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: US
  • 17,805 posts
Posted by BaltACD on Friday, December 20, 2019 11:14 AM

A McIntosh
Since VA once owned a portion of the old RF&P prior to the early 1990's They should have acquired the whole thing at that time and lease it to CSX as NC does the NCRR to NS.

My understanding has been that the State of Virginia did not own the RF&P, the Pension Plan for State of Virginia employees owned a controlling segment of the RF&P stock.

If this deal goes through as reported, it tells me that CSX is willing to exit the 'railroad business' for the right price.  The RF&P is a critical element of the CSX I-95 corridor, if they are willing to sell it for a price - everything else is for sale, for a price.

  • Member since
    December 2007
  • From: Georgia USA SW of Atlanta
  • 9,554 posts
Posted by blue streak 1 on Friday, December 20, 2019 1:03 PM

There are so many possible effects of this transaction that we cannot digest it in one bite.  Let us hope that there will not be delays of approvals by the STB , FRA, and any other agency that tries to horn in.

At first blush what effect might this agreement have in other US locations?   As I read the announcements Va is just buying half of the ROW and at any location that has more than 2 tracks the extra tracks become property of Va. There are several locations on the VRE portion that have already received more tracks paid by VA.  The devil is in the details.  Will the CSX tracks eventually be the inside tracks and outside tracks for VRE and Amtrak?  That may require VRE to move some station platforms back to clear for eventual 4 main tracks?  Or maybe island platforms on the middle tracks?  Not as flexible. Probably will be a combination of both.  Who knows ?

The prchase agreement might be a template for New York state to do the same thing on the Empire route ?

Starting from the South let us contemplate.  Finally NC's the prchase of the "S" line will go forward. "S" line will become an addition to NC state total rail miles?  This may push NC to buy the "S" line  faster since VA had seemed to be previously dragging its feet?  Up to now it really seemed to not be planned for the near future?  Now NC may not only negoiate faster to buy the line but dust off NC's EIS and engineering plans to meet VA plans ? Also VA will need to updated their plans for the "S" line.  Note the announcement designates a large number of additional passenger trains trackage rights from Richmond's RVR and RVM to  Petersburgh..  

More later.

  • Member since
    August 2004
  • From: The 17th hole at TPC
  • 1,747 posts
Posted by n012944 on Friday, December 20, 2019 1:26 PM

BaltACD

 

 
If this deal goes through as reported, it tells me that CSX is willing to exit the 'railroad business' for the right price.  The RF&P is a critical element of the CSX I-95 corridor, if they are willing to sell it for a price - everything else is for sale, for a price.
 

 

They are keeping two tracks, and selling the rest.  

  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: US
  • 17,805 posts
Posted by BaltACD on Friday, December 20, 2019 1:32 PM

n012944
 
BaltACD 
If this deal goes through as reported, it tells me that CSX is willing to exit the 'railroad business' for the right price.  The RF&P is a critical element of the CSX I-95 corridor, if they are willing to sell it for a price - everything else is for sale, for a price. 

They are keeping two tracks, and selling the rest.  

Anything is for sale - the only question is the price that can be returned to the 'shareholders'.

  • Member since
    August 2005
  • From: At the Crossroads of the West
  • 10,561 posts
Posted by Deggesty on Friday, December 20, 2019 2:22 PM

Will Virginia buy only the various stretches of Track 1, leaving Tracks 2 and 3 to CSX? Or, have I misinterpreted what I read?

How much of the S line would NC purchase? Down to Raleigh, or to Raleigh and farther south?

Johnny

  • Member since
    December 2007
  • From: Georgia USA SW of Atlanta
  • 9,554 posts
Posted by blue streak 1 on Friday, December 20, 2019 6:24 PM

Would expect that it will be different tracks at different locations from what I read.  Could be almost any combination.

  • Member since
    December 2007
  • From: Georgia USA SW of Atlanta
  • 9,554 posts
Posted by blue streak 1 on Friday, December 20, 2019 8:28 PM

Here is  a rough map that NC put out in 2017.  Better that than 2009.  Note that they show south of Raleigh as future.

https://connect.ncdot.gov/resources/Rail-Division-Resources/Documents/NC_Map_index.pdf 

Take the followig link click on engineering studies and go down to the detailed maps for both VA and NC.  You can see how curve easement and other work will allow for HrSR.

https://connect.ncdot.gov/resources/Rail-Division-Resources/Pages/Reports-Projects.aspx 

  • Member since
    December 2007
  • From: Georgia USA SW of Atlanta
  • 9,554 posts
Posted by blue streak 1 on Friday, December 20, 2019 9:34 PM

Railway age article that may be best explanation for some of our posters.

https://www.railwayage.com/passenger/intercity/virginia-csx-amtrak-get-serious-about-passenger-rail/?RAchannel=news 

  • Member since
    December 2007
  • From: Georgia USA SW of Atlanta
  • 9,554 posts
Posted by blue streak 1 on Friday, December 20, 2019 10:09 PM

Here is an explanation from Virginia DRPT ( department of Rail and Public Transportation )  Answers many questions.  Note price tag to CSX is $525M not earlier figure which will be corrected. appoligies!  

http://www.drpt.virginia.gov/rail/transforming-rail-in-virginia/

EDIT  After reading various announcements and press reports have not entirely accepted as to how the 1/2 of RF&P purchase is going to be implemented.  Certainly would seem to need clarification..

 

  • Member since
    August 2005
  • From: At the Crossroads of the West
  • 10,561 posts
Posted by Deggesty on Saturday, December 21, 2019 10:58 AM

blue streak 1

Here is  a rough map that NC put out in 2017.  Better that than 2009.  Note that they show south of Raleigh as future.

https://connect.ncdot.gov/resources/Rail-Division-Resources/Documents/NC_Map_index.pdf 

Take the followig link click on engineering studies and go down to the detailed maps for both VA and NC.  You can see how curve easement and other work will allow for HrSR.

https://connect.ncdot.gov/resources/Rail-Division-Resources/Pages/Reports-Projects.aspx 

 

Thanks; from the map of NC, the S line will not be used south of Raleigh. Also, from the information concerning the RF&P, there may be costruction of track between some sections of track 1.

Does anyone have any history that shows why these sections of track 1 are so numbered?

Johnny

  • Member since
    December 2007
  • From: Georgia USA SW of Atlanta
  • 9,554 posts
Posted by blue streak 1 on Saturday, December 21, 2019 11:55 AM

Due to previous computer failed and lost some links the following is from memory and subject to a healthy dose of scepticism (sp).

The summary of "S" line statements by the authors mentioned various alternatives for the rebuilding.  One was just making it 110 MPH capable. Another was 125 MPH. Finally build for a speed that would eventually require electrification.  The engineering maps do show various curve alignments for each of these speeds.  As to what the summarys said about each of the alignments has been lost in the fog of time.  Of course the higher speed the more new ROW needed for purchase.  Seem to recall various methods of tying up real estate were mentioned but that may be incorrect.

  • Member since
    December 2007
  • From: Georgia USA SW of Atlanta
  • 9,554 posts
Posted by blue streak 1 on Saturday, December 21, 2019 12:26 PM

  One item  of confusion is VA stating that they are purchasing the "S" line to Ridgeway, NC. Ridgeway is the present end of track from Raleigh. I had understood that 12 miles would be purchased by NC along with the rest to  Raleigh. Maybe CSX threw it in to stop property taxes ? There is some political anti -  rail interferrence from some in NC legislature.  It may be just a no additional cost expedient that will eventually be transferred to NC but who knows?.  Just north of Ridgeway is Norlina where the old SAL line to the North Weldon connection to the "A" line That route was listed as a NC alternate route.

  • Member since
    December 2007
  • From: Georgia USA SW of Atlanta
  • 9,554 posts
Posted by blue streak 1 on Saturday, December 21, 2019 8:56 PM

What is becoming some what clearer is how the tracks will work.  From WASH Union Station the 2 tracks from there will exit near VA ave tunnel and run on the west side adjaecent to the 2 CSX freight tracks.  Those tracks will go thru L'Enfant station, continuing over the new Long Bridge, stopping at the new station at the old Potomac yard, to the Alexandria station.  Manansas trains will bear off to the west at AF and the RF&P trains will travel on the three main tracks ( 2,3,4 )   

The Franconia bypass function is not clear. However VRE trains appear to switch to / from it.  Eventually it appears that somewhere there will be a passenger flyover of the 2 CSX tracks so that the passenger trains will be on the east side of CSX. That way VRE can stop at all their stations that for the most or all are east of the tracks. The present track #2 will be used for the most part. Now not haven't ridden VRE the plan indicates that eventually track #1 to the east will be built allowing two way traffic. You will notice that all construction of tracks shown on the map is for a track #1.  The one exception shown is a track 4 north of Ashland which is probably a hold out track for CSX freights ? The question remains what will happen to the stations that VRE built on the future track alignment of track #1? Guess CSX and VRE will share track #2 for the many years. ?  

Will the present platforms become island platforms? Or will some other set up be made. I can see a 2 platform set up made that would allow persons to flat board going to WASH without having to access an  island platform,  Persons who travel this every day welcomed to post.  

  • Member since
    May 2019
  • 807 posts
Posted by Lithonia Operator on Wednesday, December 25, 2019 9:33 AM

So, has the Buckingham Branch Railroad been leasing the line from CSX? I didn't know that branch was CSX's to sell.

The Commonwealth of Virginia had better make sure it does its due diligence!! Smile

  • Member since
    August 2005
  • From: At the Crossroads of the West
  • 10,561 posts
Posted by Deggesty on Wednesday, December 25, 2019 9:47 AM

Lithonia Operator

So, has the Buckingham Branch Railroad been leasing the line from CSX? I didn't know that branch was CSX's to sell.

The Commonwealth of Virginia had better make sure it does its due diligence!! Smile

 

The C&O's line from Richmond through Charlottesville to Clifton Forge is definitely a part of CSX.

Johnny

  • Member since
    August 2005
  • From: At the Crossroads of the West
  • 10,561 posts
Posted by Deggesty on Wednesday, December 25, 2019 9:53 AM

blue streak 1

What is becoming some what clearer is how the tracks will work.  From WASH Union Station the 2 tracks from there will exit near VA ave tunnel and run on the west side adjaecent to the 2 CSX freight tracks.  Those tracks will go thru L'Enfant station, continuing over the new Long Bridge, stopping at the new station at the old Potomac yard, to the Alexandria station.  Manansas trains will bear off to the west at AF and the RF&P trains will travel on the three main tracks ( 2,3,4 )   

The Franconia bypass function is not clear. However VRE trains appear to switch to / from it.  Eventually it appears that somewhere there will be a passenger flyover of the 2 CSX tracks so that the passenger trains will be on the east side of CSX. That way VRE can stop at all their stations that for the most or all are east of the tracks. The present track #2 will be used for the most part. Now not haven't ridden VRE the plan indicates that eventually track #1 to the east will be built allowing two way traffic. You will notice that all construction of tracks shown on the map is for a track #1.  The one exception shown is a track 4 north of Ashland which is probably a hold out track for CSX freights ? The question remains what will happen to the stations that VRE built on the future track alignment of track #1? Guess CSX and VRE will share track #2 for the many years. ?  

Will the present platforms become island platforms? Or will some other set up be made. I can see a 2 platform set up made that would allow persons to flat board going to WASH without having to access an  island platform,  Persons who travel this every day welcomed to post.  

 

It will be interesting to see what is done in Fredericksburg. Currently there is a platform on each track--and you cannot be certain that a NB train will use track 2 or track 3 until the train is approaching (the first time I boarded there, it was not known until the train was in sight that the NB train was on track 3; the second time, an announcement was made tbat the train was on track 3).

Johnny

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 10,082 posts
Posted by Overmod on Thursday, December 26, 2019 6:41 PM

Note that PDN has started a new thread with a much more precise title and thread topic here.

http://cs.trains.com/trn/f/111/t/278914.aspx

Join our Community!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

Search the Community

Newsletter Sign-Up

By signing up you may also receive occasional reader surveys and special offers from Trains magazine.Please view our privacy policy