From Virginia Association of Railway Patrons (VARP), newsletter for summer 2005:
At VARP's annual meeting in early April in Rosslyn, VA, there were presentations on Virginia Railway Express (VRE) as well as Washington Metro. VRE struggles to accommodate its passengers. They are purchasing more bilevel equipment, finding more Washington storage space, and looking to increase parking. Virginia may be funding an extension of service into Price William County.
Governor Mark Warner created the Rail Enhancement Fund, which took effect on July 1st. This first-ever dedicated source of rail funding for the state will go for improvements to freight, intercity, and commuter rail services.
VRE and Amtrak have worked out a deal that gives the commuter carrier more daytime storage at Ivy City yard, thus allowing for longer trains to deal with increasing ridership. As part of the deal, Amtrak now stops its Train 93 at L'Enfant Plaza station.
Work is progressing on the Quantico Creek rail bridge. Pilings are in for the new bridge, being built next to the existing one. In the short term, there will be two tracks. There are provisions for a third track to be added at a later date.
VARP questions why CSX has such severe and frequent heat restrictions, when no other passenger railroad in Virginia regularly imposes them. One reason might be that mainline railroad ties have been observed with the spikes missing.
Quantico now has a functioning passenger station after the old Richmond Fredericksburg & Potomac station reopened after being closed for 34 years. Renovations cost $1 million. The station is a big improvement over the small shelters that had been there before.
Virginia & West Virginia news
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