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:
- 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.