Roanoke Passenger Service Returns

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Tue Jan 21 15:22:16 EST 2014

But where are "Green" and "Smothers" that will be double-tracked? What clearances in Altavista are being taken care of? Does this mean NS might use the Virginian from Roanoke to Altavista, then run up the Durham line to Lynchburg as an alternative route? Or just continue east on the VGN with stack trains like coal is run now? And what work needs to be done in Lynchburg? Are there plans to add a new stop at the former N&W station at the end of Woodall Road? A lot of work was done on the wye there before the service was extended to Lynchburg, to facilitate moving the train to Montview yard for service and to be turned. Does this involve work on the N&W side of the wye?

Green is one of those Southern Rwy. concocted names that identifies the south end of
double track, 6.6 miles south of Altavista. Smothers, also a Southern identifier, is the
north end of double track, 6.6 miles north of Chatham. In between is 9.8 miles of
single track. So what does that have to do with the extension of passenger service to
Roanoke ? I haven't the slightest.

Doubt there's any attempt to use the Durham District into Lynchburg -- there's Durmid
Tunnel that's so narrow, it won't clear some empty hoppers coming from Hyco/Mayo.

>From memory, there are five tunnels on the Altavista District, four of which are between

Roanoke and Altavista. Stack trains ? Double stacks won't clear those tunnels. Maybe
NS's intention is to have the Commonwealth enlarge the tunnels to improve clearance and
run the passenger train that way. It wouldn't add but about 13 miles to the route. The
only clearance problem AT Altavista on the Southern side I know of is a pedestrian bridge
near the school. On the other hand, a connection to get southbound trains westbound
on the former VGN would be quite a task. Maybe they have in mind diverting north of
Altavista from the current main tracks to the original Southern right-of-way to get to Hurt
for a connection. At Lynchburg, there had been talk of adding a station to serve
Liberty University.

At a VDOT meeting in Roanoke last summer, I reminded Dept. of Rail + Passenger
Transportation's representative that in 1961, following the single-tracking between
Forest and MP 239 (Goose Creek) N&W operated six passenger trains/day over
the single track segment (there is a passing siding at Bedford). He smirked at me,
so I guess he knew something I didn't. Harry Bundy

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