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Passenger Trains > 2 Routes in Virginia


Date: 03/17/23 10:38
2 Routes in Virginia
Author: amtrakbill

The Cardinal and the Cresent use two different route in Virginia betweek Orange VA and Charlotteville VA.

Does any know why Amtrak doesn't use the same and faster route for both there trains?  There are no intermediate stops on these routes so I'm not sure why 2 are being used?

Thanks Bill



Date: 03/17/23 10:45
Re: 2 Routes in Virginia
Author: joemvcnj

If a train takes the former and faster SOU main line to Charlottesville, it would be very hard for the Cardinal to head west from there. That's why the 2 lines cross at a sharp angle. 



Date: 03/17/23 10:54
Re: 2 Routes in Virginia
Author: P

joemvcnj Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> If a train takes the former and faster SOU main
> line to Charlottesville, it would be very hard for
> the Cardinal to head west from there. That's why
> the 2 lines cross at a sharp angle. 


There is no connection in the NW quadrant of the diamond in Charlottesville. However, there is a connection in the SE quadrant but would require backup move in each direction. Seems easy enough, but I'm guess that because of the historical routes and logistics here, that routing has not been pursued.

The BB route has seen track improvements that eliminated a number of miles of 10mph running north of Charlottesville but if that hadn't occurred, perhaps there would be a stronger push to jump on the Southern north if Charlottesville. The geography of the diamond there makes it near impossible to add a connection track in the NW quadrant of the diamond.

Posted from Android



Date: 03/17/23 11:33
Re: 2 Routes in Virginia
Author: DavidP

The C&O and Southern had separate stations in Charlottesville.  The Amtrak Riley/GW/Cardinal served both, I think right up until the SR joined Amtrak.

Dave



Date: 03/17/23 11:48
Re: 2 Routes in Virginia
Author: twropr

Since about 2000, the CARDINAL has been using the Southern station; however, it continues to use the Buckingham Branch
between Orange and Charlottesville.  About ten years ago I saw a proposal from VA for an ARRA grant to build a connection
for the CARDINAL; however, it was never pursued.  It would have been a very tight turn.
Andy



Date: 03/17/23 11:54
Re: 2 Routes in Virginia
Author: ts1457

twropr Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Since about 2000, the CARDINAL has been using the
> Southern station; however, it continues to use the
> Buckingham Branch
> between Orange and Charlottesville.  About ten
> years ago I saw a proposal from VA for an ARRA
> grant to build a connection
> for the CARDINAL; however, it was never pursued. 
> It would have been a very tight turn.
> Andy

I would love to see that proposal. I wonder if is still around.

I am showing my idea. I am not a track engineer, so I cannot say for sure whether my geometry is feasible.

 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/17/23 12:08 by ts1457.




Date: 03/17/23 12:06
Re: 2 Routes in Virginia
Author: CPMorris

twropr Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Since about 2000, the CARDINAL has been using the
> Southern station; however, it continues to use the
Long before 2000!  Actually, the CARDINAL has been using
the Southern station since 1979 when Amtrak assumed operation
of the Crescent and discontinued using the C&O station.




Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/17/23 12:08 by CPMorris.



Date: 03/17/23 12:11
Re: 2 Routes in Virginia
Author: bh35226

The Cardinal started using the Southern Rwy station as its only station in Charlottesville on Feb 1, 1979, when Amtrak started operating the Crescent. Prior to that it used the C&O Station and, at times, also stopped at the Southern Station. Amtrak has studied a way to get off the C&O route from Orange to Gordonsville to Charlottesville route but has not been able to find a suitable substitute. The westbound Cardinal could work Charlottesville on the NS, pull across the C&O route into a small yard then back around a rather sharp interchange track on to the Buckingham Branch, thru a crossover and pull forwad back past the station and continue on its normal route. This would be a rather time consuming move with numerous hand throw switches. If you look at Google Maps, you can see that the logical connection is not able to be built. They would need to tear down some buildings (swimming pool, too) on the campus of the University of Virginia. The Buckingham Branch threads it way though the UVa campus for a mile or two. The state of Virginia now owns all of the former C&O track in the area and hopefully track conditions and speed will increase in the future.

Bob



Date: 03/17/23 12:20
Re: 2 Routes in Virginia
Author: cutboy1958

Would need  a  new  leg  of   "Y"  in  C  Ville.  Northwest  quad.    Big  project  not  worth  the  cost.    So  at  least  CARDINAL  faster  than a  few  years  ago.   Will be interesting to  see  if  Virginia  does  any  upgrades  to  BUCKINGHAM BRANCH.



Date: 03/17/23 12:27
Re: 2 Routes in Virginia
Author: ts1457

cut boy1958 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Would need  a  new  leg  of   "Y"  in  C
>  Vile.  Northwest  quad.    Big  project
>  not  worth  the  cost.    So  at  least
>  CARDINAL  faster  than a  few  years  ago.
>   Will be interesting to  see  if  Virginia
>  does  any  upgrades  to  BUCKINGHAM BRANCH.

Even if you could fit such a leg in, you would be on the wrong track for the station platform.

I am looking for some criticism of my idea above.



Date: 03/17/23 14:49
Re: 2 Routes in Virginia
Author: MEKoch

The State of VA now owns the Buckingham Branch tracks from Doswell to Clifton Forge (ex C&O).  They have fixed up the track west of Charlottesville to CLF.  And plans are to fix east of CLT to Doswell.  Once the track is completely upgraded again to passenger speeds, the difference between the Southern line and the C&O line will be very small.  Now worth building a difficult connection track in Charlottesville.  



Date: 03/17/23 16:23
Re: 2 Routes in Virginia
Author: Latebeans

As a sidenote I see that the former C&O station still exists.  A nice Colonial style building, like many others on the C&O.



Date: 03/18/23 07:38
Re: 2 Routes in Virginia
Author: 2904

The BB route from Orange to Charlottesville is only 3 miles longer than the NS route. The Orange Sub (Orange to Gordonsville) had some work done a few years ago that increased the speed from 30 to 60 MPH. Since that was done, it’s only about 15 minutes slower than running the NS, and fewer freights to contend with. Certainly faster than shoving around the connection in Charlottesville. Even if a direct connection could be engineered, probably not worth the cost to shave 15 minutes off the schedule of a tri-weekly train. You’d be better off investing in the BB to raise the speed a bit in a few places where it’s still slow.



Date: 03/18/23 20:31
Re: 2 Routes in Virginia
Author: P

ts1457 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> twropr Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Since about 2000, the CARDINAL has been using
> the
> > Southern station; however, it continues to use
> the
> > Buckingham Branch
> > between Orange and Charlottesville.  About ten
> > years ago I saw a proposal from VA for an ARRA
> > grant to build a connection
> > for the CARDINAL; however, it was never
> pursued. 
> > It would have been a very tight turn.
> > Andy
>
> I would love to see that proposal. I wonder if is
> still around.
>
> I am showing my idea. I am not a track engineer,
> so I cannot say for sure whether my geometry is
> feasible.
>
>  
More of an engineer than many of us. I hadn't considered this option. A very creative idea!

Posted from Android



Date: 03/18/23 21:43
Re: 2 Routes in Virginia
Author: ts1457

P Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> More of an engineer than many of us. I hadn't
> considered this option. A very creative idea!

Thanks, appreciate it.

With the BB track upgrade, I guess it is just academic now

Maybe someday we will have enough passenger trains there that they might need to do something differently <G>.



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