Letters from Hanover and Ashland

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.

DC2RVA Town Comments 1-6-16

1-7-16 DRPT High Speed Rail - Emily Stock

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Physical Conditions

The following is a guest post from Bob Brown.

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Ashland, VAThe proposed new rail line does not physically fit within the boundaries of Center St. and Railroad Ave:

 

 

 

  • It must be assumed that the new third rail must be on the east side of the existing tracks: if it were on the west side, the Train Station must be removed.
  • A high speed rail line on the east side of the existing tracks should make it impossible to get on or off a stopped Amtrak train on the existing east side track.
  • With the new third rail on the east side, both the travel lane and parking lane must be removed along the full length of both Center St. and Railroad Ave. Thus, the College will have no “front” entrance, and its on-street parking would eliminated, there will be no access to all the shops (Cross Bros. et al) on that side of Railroad Ave., and almost all of the homes facing Center St. will also have no access.

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

 

Guest Post #3

The following is a guest post from John and Vandi Hodges

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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:

  • Does not impact historic resources or National Register Historic District (as does the 3 track option through Ashland) or the White Oak Farm AFD a State identified Agricultural and Forestal District (as does the western bypass of Ashland).
  • Does not impact major residential, business and recreational areas.
  • No known hazardous waste sites are  impacted.
  •  Uses primarily undeveloped rural and industrial land along existing overhead major  electrical transmission lines.
  • Supports dedicated passenger rail rights of way to provide reliable and safe passenger access and use of railways.

Hope this information is helpful and please do not hesitate to contact us if you need any additional information.

Herald Progress Editorial

Eiffel-Tower-2This 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.

Herald-Progress-2016-01-07

Deadline for Submitting Comments

Amtrak-Ashland-VAI 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.

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Dear Sir/Madam:

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.

Yours truly,

Name
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Guest Post #2

Ashland Town HallThe following is a guest post from Robert DeLille.

I wanted to let everyone know 2 things:

  1. I am having our attorney write a letter in response to the letter we received from the Commonwealth re: “notice of entry upon land for examination of land for transportation purposes,” restricting (to the extent possible) their access to our property. I am happy to share that if anyone wants a copy.
  2. I have talked with Danny Plougher from the Virginia High Speed Rail Association and he is happy to come out to talk with us. I have talked with Charles Hartgrove and he is going to host this at town hall. He is going to shoot me a couple of dates in the next 2-3 weeks. I will publish the date once it is nailed down.