Amtrak annual passengers. Amtrak: Number of trains per week

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  • Amtrak annual passengers

  • Amtrak: Number of trains per week

  • Amtrak:Annual passengers per train

  • Whats wrong with AMTRAK?Flat ridershipCompetes with freightProblems with Reliability Speed Access Availability

  • Who owns the rails in Virginia?3,400 miles of trackAll owned by the freight railroads2,000 mi NS1,000 mi CSX

  • Virginia Rail and Highway System mileage 1930 - 1990

  • Virginia Rail System Mileage 1870 - 1990Nationally, in 30 years: 50% of tracks lost traffic has tripled

  • CvilleRail Jan 10, 2005 Press conference reveals Charlottesville cut from TDXPress coverage leads to grassroots movement Contacts made with VREMay 3, 2005 VRE liaison comes to Charlottesville

  • CvilleRail May 22, 2005 press conference at Charlottesville Union Station

  • Why rail?Our travel options are limitedTravelers on 29N and I-66 have little choice but to drive to reach their destination. With more frequent, accessible and reliable rail service, we believe many more individuals would choose the rail alternative.Taking the train cuts traffic congestionThe Route 29 and I-66 corridors become more congested every day and yet most travelers still drive. An alternative is intercity rail, for safer roads and less congestion. In the D.C. area, during peak traffic hours, VRE trains carry enough commuters to take one full lane of traffic off I-66 and I-95 every hour.

    Trains are better for the environmentAccording to Sierra Club calculations of air pollution per passenger mile for different modes of transportation, the 236 mile round trip to Washington from Charlottesville spews 4,118 oz. of damaging chemical emissions into the atmosphere by plane, 2,258 oz. by car, and only 708 oz. by train. Rail travel is the most energy-efficient of any form of mass transportation by far, including cars, planes or buses.

    Enhanced train service will spur Charlottesvilles urban revitalization It will stimulate new investment and keep the citys economy moving forward.

  • The train is for children and families. Trains offer many amenities for families and children that makes travel fun and less confining for the kids. The train is for school groups.Trains are a great way for school groups to travel on field trips.The train is for seniorsMore than one in five adults over 65 no longer drive. Without public transportation, they are stranded without options. Train travel is comfortable for seniors and allows them to continue to be active and mobile. The train is for UVA students and alums.The train is an ideal way for students and alums to travel between Charlottesville and Northern Virginia, without the hassles of congested weekend traffic and parking problems. The train is for business travelersFor business travelers, trains offer an alternative to driving to work alone. They can put their time to better use than driving and sitting in traffic.

  • Direct rail service between Charlottesville and Washington, D.C. will increase the regions attractiveness as a tourist destination and contribute to sustainable economic development that supports our quality of life and helps preserve our natural resources.

    The train is for tourists

  • Comparative Costs with TDXin millionsBristol to Washington, D.C. (TDX)Total Investment:$122.5Annual operating costs$14.5Travel Time:8:18Bristol Richmond (Demonstration)Initial Investment:$20.0Annual operation costs$ 8.0Travel Time10:00

  • VRE to CharlottesvilleTotal Investment:$2.0 millionAnnual Operating Costs:$1.6 million Travel Time:2.30

    Intermediate stations: Orange, Culpeper, ManassasConnected rural Americans to urban centersProvided a travel choice

  • The buzz

  • The buzz


    Richards, along with Commonwealth Transportation Board member Butch Davies, will announce that the new group, Charlottesville Citizens for Better Rail Alternatives, has launched a website, and plans to persuade the state to fund the service and Northern Virginia-based Virginia Rail Express to operate it. Richards says the service would need federal money to the tune of $2 million in capital improvements plus a state subsidy of up to $1.6 million per year. "It's an alternative to existing driving," says Richards. "That's good for the environment and good for safe roads." With a Congressional fight looming over how much to fund perennially struggling Amtrak, states all over the country are stepping up to fund rail services. Virginia Governor Mark Warner is such a rail advocate that his 2005 budget dedicates $23 million a year for rail improvements. Yet some critics have blasted the Charlottesville proposal as an inducement to sprawl. In an April 7 essay penned for the Hook, Janis Jaquith branded the service the "Trojan Train" because of its potential to invite D.C. commuters to move to the Charlottesville area. "We should be very careful what we wish for," agreed J.A. Barker in a letter to the editor. Meredith Richards has staked her reputation on rail. FILE PHOTO BY JEN FARIELLO

    The "Trojan Train," as it's derided by critics, could be coming to Charlottesville within two years if its chief local backer gets her way. In a press conference slated for Wednesday, June 22 (after the Hook's deadline), former City Councilor Meredith Richards plans to announce a new advocacy group to support weekday rail service between Charlottesville and Washington.

  • The buzzGroup proposes Charlottesville-D.C. railwayFormer city vice-mayor Meredith Richards, Commonwealth Transportation Board member Butch Davies pushing for Va. railway expansion Becca Garrison, Cavalier Daily Associate Editor

    Meredith Richards is advocating for another option to connect Charlottesville to the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. The former Charlottesville Vice-Mayor has teamed up with Butch Davies, Commonwealth Transportation Board representative, to introduce the Charlottesville Citizens for Better Rail Alternatives last wants the Virginia Railway Express to extend its train service from Manassas down to Charlottesville.

    "We're working on building community interest and community support for a more efficient and reliable rail service to serve Washington, D.C. and Charlottesville with a direct rail connection," Richards said.

    Richards and Davies spearheaded the effort based on a proposal by the State Rail Agency to the General Assembly that service between Charlottesville and Washington be instituted. Richards had recently spent five years working on a project to provide rail service to the entire state of Virginia, stretching from the far southwestern border of the state to Washington through Charlottesville.The project was funded, but the expanse north of Lynchburg was cut from the project. Richards said she still saw the need for that transportation to exist for Charlottesville. The current proposal would run two VRE trains daily through Union Station, and the cities of Manassas, Culpepper, Orange and Charlottesville for an estimated 2.5-hour trip.

  • The buzzFriday, September 02, 2005 Local group pushes for D.C., C'ville rail connectionVirginia Railway Express could provide cost-effective, safer transportation alternatives to students, commuters Maria Tchijov, Cavalier Daily Associate Editor Amtrak currently offers service between Charlottesville and the D.C. area with a station located West Main Street. Supporters of the Virginia Railway Express say their proposed rail connection could offer more timely, affordable service.

    If the citizen action group Charlottesville Citizens for Better Rail Alternatives gets its way, University students from Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia will soon have another way of getting to Grounds.

  • The buzzThursday, August 04, 2005 All aboard, Charlottesville Eric Wang, Cavalier Daily Columnist CHARLOTTESVILLE may have been rated the best place to live in America, and the University may be one of the best public universities, but let's face it: This place ain't perfect. While one can hardly quibble with the high quality of life, the relatively low cost of living and the peace and tranquility, much of this stems from the fact that the University was built in the middle of nowhere. With all due respect to Mr. Jefferson, his vision of an agrarian utopia just doesn't cut it amidst the 21st Century hustle and bustle. People have places to go, things to do and folks to see. That is why it is so important that the proposed expansion of the Virginia Railway Express (VRE) commuter train into town becomes a reality.

  • The buzz

  • Chamber of Commerce Rail Demand Survey

    62% of respondents do business in DC/NOVA84% travel there by car66% would use a 2 hour commuter rail link40% would travel by rail 1-4 times monthly

  • See you on the train!

    In spite of our limited service, Charlottesville is a train riding community.

    Heres a chart of the number of passengers served by Amtrak in 2005 at four Virginia stations: Charlottesville, Richmond, Lynchburg, and Newport News. The greatest number of passengers are at Richmond station. With 125 weekly scheduled trains, Richmond also has the greatest level of service, especially compared to Charlottesville, which hs 20. But if you look at the number of boardings and alightings per scheduled train, this is what you see.

    Compared to the other stations, Charlottesville has the highest ridership per scheduled train. The Moral: Give us more trains and we have the demand to fill them. Something many people dont realize is that Amtrak trains do not operate on publicly-owned tracks.

    Of Amtraks 22,000