The Town of Ashland and the County of Hanover have each sent letters to the DC2RVA Project Office concerning the proposed high speed rail. Screen shots are shown below; the .pdf format versions are here and here.
At the Town Council meeting on January 19th I plan to say a few words to do with the High Speed Rail project and its impact on the town. I have already submitted a letter to Council (screen shot below). The purpose of the letter and presentation is to encourage Council to energetically oppose the concept of having a third track running through the center of town.
The following is a guest post from Bob Brown.
The proposed new rail line does not physically fit within the boundaries of Center St. and Railroad Ave:
When these three major conditions are implemented, the Train Station will probably no longer work as an Amtrak stop, Railroad Ave. will no longer function as our Downtown, the College will have to re-think its campus planning, and it will no longer be possible to live on virtually all of Center St.
Ashland as we know it will no longer physically exist.
Bob Brown; Jan. 2016
Representatives from the High Speed Rail team will be visiting us on February 4th 2016 at 6:00 p.m. at the Ashland Town Hall.
The following is a guest post from John and Vandi Hodges
106 Howard Street
Ashland, VA 23005
Subject: Additional Comments on High Speed Rail through Ashland, VA
January 8, 2016
To whom it may concern:
My wife and I oppose the option of running a third line or elevated track through the center of Ashland. It would have irreparable negative safety, environmental and cultural impacts on historic resources and existing residential, business and recreation uses. We support bypass of Ashland for both the high speed and existing passenger rights of way with a new train station on east side of I-95 along Va Power ROW.
The proposed eastern alignment would go from Hanover Junction (Doswell) along the CSX Buckingham Branch line to south of Kings Dominion Theme Park, then following the Virginia Dominion Power major transmission line easements east of I-95 through undeveloped rural or industrial land. This alignment paralleling I-95 would allow for a new Ashland train station along new right of way with access off Route 54 Interstate Interchange 92. Continuing to follow the Virginia Dominion Power ROW south, the alignment would require a crossing of I-95 and Route 1. New Right of Way would diverge from the Virginia Power right of way after crossing Route 1 and reconnect with the CSX Main Line in the vicinity of the proposed western bypass through undeveloped Vulcan Lands, Inc. property.
The advantages of this alignment are:
Hope this information is helpful and please do not hesitate to contact us if you need any additional information.
This week’s Herald Progress has an editorial encouraging people to submit their comments to the DRPT web site before January 8th. Which, of course, is what we have been doing for the last two weeks. Although that date is now behind us it still makes sense to continue commenting at http://www.dc2rvarail.com/online-meeting/.
A scanned copy of the editorial is shown below. Presumably it will be available on line before too long. It is disappointing that the editorial spends so much time making allusions to the Eiffel Tower instead of explaining the destructive impact that the proposed line through Ashland would have.
I would like to remind everyone that we have until January 8th to submit comments to the current on-line meeting. The address is http://www.dc2rvarail.com/online-meeting/. If you are looking for a “go-by” or template consider Bob Brown’s post or, for something shorter, something on the following lines.
I am opposed to the option of running a third line through the center of Ashland. This option would ruin the atmosphere of our historic town. I am also concerned at the safety issues to do with having trains so close to homes, businesses and restaurants.
The high speed rail should bypass Ashland but our town should retain its current passenger service to D.C. and Richmond.
The following is a guest post from Robert DeLille.
I wanted to let everyone know 2 things: