The Train Journey that Never Happened

High speed train Ashland VA to Philadelphia

This week I was invited to a lunch-time business meeting in Philadelphia. The meeting was a “nice to do” not “must do”. I decided to accept the invitation. I would hop on a train in Ashland, travel to 30th St. station in Philadelphia, take a taxi to the meeting location (about 6 miles from the station), meet my colleagues and return home.

But investigation of the timetable showed that I would have to leave Ashland at 6:13 a.m. and get home at 8:45 p.m. — and that assumes that everything runs on time: 15 hours of travel for a short, non-essential meeting. So I decided not to bother.

Imagine that we really did have high speed train service from Richmond to D.C. — not the “just a little bit higher” speed that we are being offered. Then I would take the VRE local from Ashland to Staples Mill and transfer to the true high speed train to the north east. My journey times would be reduced by a factor of two at least and I would have made the journey.


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