July 2013 DRAFT Virginia Statewide Rail Plan
All information in this summary was extracted from the DRAFT Virginia Statewide Rail Plan for Public Review and Comment, source The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation.
This report clearly illustrates that much great work has been done (with our thanks to VDRPT and all involved), but that we have a long way to go (with related time and funding) before our higher speed rail connections are realized in Hampton Roads (with needed frequency and speed to maximize profitability).
It is clear that there has to be a working relationship with our area railroads, with leveraging existing tracks mixed with new tracks to form the most idea solutions. Hampton Roads is being found on the maps has been inconsistent to date. We have connectivity being planned with both Northeast and Southeast corridors.
Yet our "Greenfield" thinking should include all options (and in some cases should include new rails and routes), planning for the best future, balanced with the reality of several conditions that impact the solution.
These highlights are not intended to bias the reader via out of context views. Rather, we are trying to attract the viewer to read the entire report for full context and then comment accordingly.
Future of Hampton Roads
Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation Releases Draft Virginia Statewide Rail Plan for Public Review and Comment
Draft 2013 - Virginia Statewide Rail Plan is available HERE.
Governor McDonnell announced today that the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) released the Draft 2013 Virginia Statewide Rail Plan for public review and comment. The comprehensive plan will provide a defined vision for passenger and freight rail transportation in Virginia through 2040. It profiles the Commonwealth's current rail assets, services, and capacity chokepoints. Recommended improvement projects are included as part of the Rail Resource Allocation Plan, a tool that establishes funding sources, funding needs, and phasing for rail projects. Projects were identified using public and stakeholder input, and extensive evaluation of future population and employment trends, land use, and travel demand.
"DRPT continues to demonstrate its effectiveness by improving and adding rail service in the Commonwealth despite major policy changes at the national level," said Governor McDonnell. "This plan shows how a small agency of dedicated individuals can maximize state's resources to move passengers and goods efficiently, buoyed by the landmark transportation funding legislation signed into law this spring."
"The Virginia Statewide Rail Plan provides a vision that will help guide the Commonwealth towards meeting its transportation goal of moving people and goods efficiently and effectively," said Thelma Drake, director of the Department of Rail and Public Transportation.
Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Rail & Public Transportation
600 East Main Street, Suite 2102
Richmond, VA 23219
HIGHLIGHTS Download Highlights Summary as PDF HERE
ES.3.3. Intercity Passenger Rail in Virginia
In 2012, Amtrak operated 24 daily intercity trains and 2 tri-weekly trains in the Commonwealth with 1,466,965 passengers either boarding or alighting within Virginia and another 5,013,991 boarding or alighting in Washington, D.C. Amtrak ridership in Virginia has grown 77 percent between FY2004 and FY2012, much more than the 24-percent ridership increase Amtrak has seen on the National System in that same time. The efforts of Amtrak Virginia to bring expanded Northeast Regional rail service into Virginia are responsible for a large portion of the growth in ridership for routes serving Virginia. Recent increases in fuel and energy prices since 2008 have also generated a higher demand for passenger rail nationwide that has resulted in higher annual ridership increases since 2008 than in the first half of the decade. Amtrak has set annual ridership records every fiscal year from 2003 to 2012, except in 2009.