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With a new administration in D.C., it's time to think outside of the box because passenger rail's survival just may depend on it

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Tackling the Headlines 30

Norfolk service gets moved up
Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell has announced that an Amtrak extension from Richmond to Norfolk via Petersburg will be launched by the end of this year--10 months ahead of schedule!


Take: For once, an Amtrak service is scheduled to start ahead of schedule rather than behind. While it's long overdue, there are some flaws: neighboring Suffolk will be skipped as will Richmond's Main Street Station. Also, it is still undetermined if the station in Virginia's second-largest city will be staffed.


On the bright side, the state hopes to expand to three roundtrips between Norfolk and Boston in the long term. This would mean that Amtrak's first real expansion since the '90s.


Pennsylvania city wants station
The city of Coatesville is entering negotiations with Amtrak to acquire the historic station for future redevelopment. The current facility is not up to ADA standards and Amtrak closed the station more than two decades ago.


Take: The new station will take up to three years to be completed. It's hard to believe that the current station was built in 1885 by the Pennsylvania Railroad though! I just hope that Coatesville is far more successful in redeveloping the area around its own station than what Philadelphia had to put up with surrounding the North Philadelphia station.

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