VRE study to examine proposed rail extension
HAYMARKET, VA.—Virginia Railway Express today is expected to award a $2.5 million contract to a firm that will study the environmental impact of extending the commuter rail line to Gainesville and Haymarket.
The commuter railroad's board meets in Woodbridge at 9:30 a.m. and could award the contract to the firm of STV/Ralph Whitehead and Associates. During the study, the firm would examine the possible location of at least three stations that could be built in Prince William County, west of Manassas, as well as what endangered species, wetlands or flood plains are in the path of the proposed extension.
VRE Gainesville-Haymarket Extension (VRE-GHX) -- CANCELLED
Posted 19 February 2010 - 04:08 PM
Posted 19 February 2010 - 06:35 PM
OTOL Board Leader
Posted 19 February 2010 - 08:39 PM
It's still unclear to me whether this would replace the short segment between downtown Manassas and the Broad Run/Manassas Airport station, where the off-the-main station and storage facilities are located, or be in addition to Broad Run. If the latter is true, then it's not an extension but really a new branch.... much like MARC's Frederick service which operates as a branch off its Brunswick line.
Seems like Haymarket is a NIMBY area, but it's understandable in a way because being the endpoint station means people are going to drive in from other towns and want to park there. VRE probably needs to extend just beyond Haymarket, buy some vacant land with easy access to I-66, and build a park & ride facility. Or better yet keep on going west!
I don't know how this would impact Broad Run. That is likely part of what this study might determine. One thought is to originate some trains at Broad Run and others from Haymarket, with additional storage provided at Haymarket.
Would be nice if the Haymarket trains could stop at Broad Run but this would require a station/platform facility on the main line, or a "thoroughfare" track off the main to serve the existing station platform.
Haymarket may be as ideal as it gets for an end-of-line station. The NS "B" line is just 2 blocks from the I-66 interchange with US 15 offering very easy access. There is open land at the southwest corner of the NS/US 15 crossing that could potentially accommodate a parking facility and station. Individuals using I-66 to access VRE would not need to drive though Haymarket. I believe a storage yard could also be built in this area.
Haymarket is also the furthest west I-66 exit in Prince William County. Establishing VRE service any further west would require enticing Faquier County to join VRE and the PRTC; a very unlikely happening.
The next location with easy access from I-66 to the NS "B" line is Markham, approximately 22 highway miles west of Haymarket. The train running time would be long as the track gets "loopy" as it climbs the grade toward Front Royal. I don't know the track mileage from Haymarket to Markham, but I'm sure it is considerably more that 22 miles.
There is also the consideration of dollars, since any VRE extension west of Manassas will require public funding for double-tracking the "B" line in any new VRE territory. This cost is roughly $1 million per track mile.
Bottom line - Haymarket is a practical extension point that most likely is politically and fiscally viable. Any extension further west becomes problematic.
Mapquest - Haymarket
Mapquest - Markham
(Use controls to change to "Aerial Map" and zoom in to see track/road relationship.)
Posted 08 April 2015 - 04:55 PM
Greater Greater Washington, 4/7:
Commuter rail could extend all the way to Haymarket
Northern Virginia's commuter rail service, VRE, is taking the first steps to extend its Manassas Line 11 miles farther west, to
The extension would bring commuter rail to three new stations in Prince William County, which is growing quickly. It would split off as a spur from the Manassas Line, with some trains going on to Broad Run on the existing line, and some trains going to Haymarket.
Posted 08 April 2015 - 07:18 PM
Greater Greater Washington calls it both a spur and an extension. It would in fact be a spur, since it would branch off from the NS mainline in downtown Manassas rather than beyond the last station at Broad Run.
There's a new Fredericksburg Line station in Spotsylvania set to open this summer, meaning the whole system would go from 18 lines to 22.
No, there would still be 2 lines, the Fredericksburg and Manassas Lines --- and arguably one could call the new branch another line, making it 3. I think they mean a total of 22 stations not lines.
OTOL Board Leader
Posted 07 October 2015 - 08:25 PM
VRE news release, 10/7:
VRE to Host First Community Meeting on
Gainesville‐Haymarket Extension Study
Alexandria, VA. – The Virginia Railway Express (VRE) announced today that the public is invited to participate in the first community meeting for the Virginia Railway Express Gainesville‐Haymarket Extension (VRE GHX) Study. This will be an opportunity for community members to learn about the study elements and meet the project team, as well as share their knowledge of the study corridor and thoughts about a VRE Extension.
VRE is evaluating an 11‐mile extension of its commuter rail service along the Manassas Line via the Norfolk Southern Railway B‐Line, extending from the City of Manassas through Gainesville to the Town of Haymarket near the U.S. Route 15 and I‐66 intersection.
VRE initiated this new study of the Gainesville‐Haymarket Extension in July 2015 to advance this important regional transportation initiative. The current VRE GHX study is anticipated to require approximately two years to complete, and is a critical step toward bringing commuter rail service to the Gainesville‐Haymarket area. If the analysis supports continued project development, final design and construction would follow. Passenger rail operations could begin in eight to ten years.
The VRE GHX study is being conducted in cooperation with the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation, the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission, the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission, the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority, Prince William County, Norfolk Southern Railway, and other stakeholders, and will build upon information gained through prior studies within the GHX and I‐66 corridors. The study will investigate possible station locations and service plans, identify track improvements to support VRE service, and conclude with the identification of a Locally Preferred Alternative. The study also includes preliminary engineering design for the Extension and an assessment of the environmental effects of station and track construction. Please visit the VRE GHX project website for additional information at www.vre.org/ghx.
Public engagement is a critical part of this initiative. VRE encourages the public to attend this first community meeting to learn about the project and provide their input. The meeting will be held on:
November 10, 2015
6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at
Gainesville Middle School Lecture Hall
8001 Limestone Dr., Gainesville, VA 20155
There will also be a meeting of the VRE GHX Policy Advisory Committee on November 6, 2015 from 9:30 AM to 11:00 AM at the Virginia Department of Transportation Northern Virginia District Office Accotink Room (1N‐207), 4975 Alliance Dr., Fairfax, VA 22030. The meeting is open to the public.
These meetings will be conducted in locations accessible to persons with disabilities. Any individual with a disability who requires special assistance, such as a sign language interpreter, should call Bryan Jungwirth at (703) 684‐1001 or TTY (703) 684‐0551 at least ten days prior to each meeting in order to make the necessary arrangements.
Posted 08 October 2015 - 01:32 PM
VRE Train Talk eNew, 10/8:
TAKE THE SURVEY TO JOIN THE COMMUNITY ADVISORY COMMITTEE FOR THE VRE GHX STUDY!
VRE will invite 5-10 current Manassas Line riders to serve on a Community Advisory Committee (CAC) for the Gainesville-Haymarket Extension (VRE GHX) Study.
The VRE GHX study will evaluate a potential 11-mile extension of the Manassas Line from the City of Manassas to the Haymarket area in Prince William County along the Norfolk Southern B-Line rail corridor. The study will include preliminary engineering for stations and track improvements as well as a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analysis of the planned improvements. Several track alignments and station locations will be evaluated to select a locally preferred alternative (LPA).
The Community Advisory Committee (CAC) will provide feedback throughout the study, and assist with community education and outreach to encourage widespread participation. In addition to current riders, it will include representatives from the Planning Commissions in each study area jurisdiction, as well as representatives from businesses organizations, transit advocates, environmental groups, homeowners and other. The CAC is one of four committees that will inform the study. The committees will meet approximately five times during the two-year study time-frame.
The first CAC meeting will take place on Monday, November 9, 2015 between 4:30-6:30 PM in the Sudley Manor area. To accommodate different schedules, future meetings times will alternate between the late afternoon and evening.
To help us identify CAC members that represent a range of backgrounds, interests, experiences, and travel patterns, please complete this brief survey by Tuesday, October 13, 2015: https://www.surveymo...om/r/VREGHX_CAC
VRE looks forward to working collaboratively with residents, riders, business owners, and other stakeholders to make this project a success.
Posted 11 November 2015 - 03:20 PM
WTOP radio, 11/11:
VRE holds public meeting on expanding service in Prince William Co
WASHINGTON – In Prince William County, Virginia – where land is being rapidly developed and the population is booming – Virginia Railway Express is considering expanding its train service.
It will be at least eight years before the plan moves forward, and studying the matter, itself, is expected to take two years.
Continue here w/audio report.
Posted 18 November 2015 - 08:31 PM
Virtual Site Tour (Google Maps animation)
Posted 25 November 2015 - 09:31 PM
VRE Train Talk eNews, 11/25:
VRE Gainesville-Haymarket Extension #VREGHX
Check out our video from the first #VREGHX community meeting at http://www.vre-ghx.o...nity-meeting-1/ Have something to say? You can share your comments and participate in an online survey too.
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