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wrldcoupe4

Roanoke Business

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Good idea for a new thread. Another expansion announcement in this morning's paper. The window manufacturer is planned to double in size and add 150 jobs over three years in Roanoke County. LinkRoanoke Times

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RR Donnelly has made and anouncement to expand it's printing plant and add 83 jobs. We seem to have a few expansions going on now and that is great. Now, if we could attract some new business then we'll be cookin'! Roanoke Times

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More potentially good news. Norfolk southern might be building an intermodal yard in or near Roanoke in the future. roanoke times Its about time NS invested in Roanoke again :thumbsup: They were the primary economic engine of the Valley until 1982 when the headquarters moved to Norfolk <_<

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An intermodal facility for NS here would only make sense. That would be very good news indeed. You know, I wish rail was more of a priority in terms of the national transportation budget and future planning. Fast efficient rail on regional scales would take a lot of pressure of the freeways (in terms of both cargo traffic and passenger traffic if done well) and given the infrastrucure we have in place already for rail, I imagine Roanoke would benefit greatly. I would MUCH prefer to take a quality train trip to DC that drops me off at Union Station than to drive three and a half hours and try to strategically park my car. By quality, I mean comfortable, on time service that is as fast if not slightly faster than driving. Most all our transportation tax money goes to subsidizing more freeways and air travel. Why not give rail a piece of the pie?

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There are two reasons I agree with you.

1: The right of ways already exist, why aren't we taking full advantage of them, but instead spending billions on new roads while the rail lines are used at only a small fraction of their capacity. Rail transit encourages dense, mixed use growth, which will create more appealing urban environments than the current sprawl model of development.

2: Roanoke has a lot of rail lines going in and out of the city from every direction. It got its start as a rail hub, and it could flourish again as a passenger rail hub. Its stupid that one has go drive to Clifton Forge from Roanoke just to get on a train. We have more tracks than we know what to do with, and 20 times the population of Clifton Forge, yet there is no passenger rail here. :angry:

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2: Roanoke has a lot of rail lines going in and out of the city from every direction. It got its start as a rail hub, and it could flourish again as a passenger rail hub. Its stupid that one has go drive to Clifton Forge from Roanoke just to get on a train. We have more tracks than we know what to do with, and 20 times the population of Clifton Forge, yet there is no passenger rail here. :angry:

You can thank the Oil, Auto and Airline lobbies for that. The Powers That Be have been trying to kill passenger rail through neglect for years now (and have largely succeeded).

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If gas prices stay at $3/gallon and above, mass transit will become more politically popular. As much as I fear the negative economic repercussions of expensive fuel, it will encourage high density and maybe even passenger rail.

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If gas prices stay at $3/gallon and above, mass transit will become more politically popular. As much as I fear the negative economic repercussions of expensive fuel, it will encourage high density and maybe even passenger rail.

That is a good point. I will be like along time ago when eveyone tried to live around where they worked because they had no way to get to work. This could be a good thing in the long run and curb suburban sprawl.

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Thanks, Russ. And in case you still do need to drive, try a diesel Volkwagen. My 2002 Jetta gets better than 40 mpg in a mix of stop/go and highway (and I ALWAYS drive with a lead foot). I've noticed a change lately in people's driving behavior (especially trucks and SUVs); they accelerate VERY slowly and decelerate for stoplights a minute before they get to them. I know they must be jealous as they slug along in the right lane and I blow past them getting over twice the mileage they could ever hope for .

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Tommarrow's Roanoke Times will carry some bad news about Roanoke's largest employer, Carilion. They employ over 10,000 people in Roanoke. They are predicting to be in the red ink by 2010, which means they will have to cut some jobs, and some services. They say Roanoke isn't growing in population enough to support them. Check out tomarrows paper.

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Heh. Nice move by Murphy (CEO of Carilion). Putting presure on by saying if we don't promote significant growth quick, then your largest employer is going to be in trouble soon. I don't buy it for a second. Carilion has been in the black for several years running. All the expansion they are doing is a gamble and Murphy is playing with numbers to light a fire under the regional goverments ass. A savy move, but trust me, there is nothing to panic about. 2010 is still a bit away.

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True, they have had some great profits in past years, in the 10 millions.

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They won't have gone in the red due to undercharging, that's for sure.

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Heh. Nice move by Murphy (CEO of Carilion). Putting presure on by saying if we don't promote significant growth quick, then your largest employer is going to be in trouble soon. I don't buy it for a second. Carilion has been in the black for several years running. All the expansion they are doing is a gamble and Murphy is playing with numbers to light a fire under the regional goverments ass. A savy move, but trust me, there is nothing to panic about. 2010 is still a bit away.

I agree with you. My uncle ran Carilion's Labs until the end of '05 and there's no lack of money.

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Thats pretty cook BGW, I wonder whats the deal, for them to predict these numbers, other than what is probably true (bmedguy's post)

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I also think this is just a ploy to get some people motivated (not a bad thing). There is significant population growth in Franklin, Bedford, Floyd and Botetourt counties, and the Roanoke Valley's population is still growing (albeit a very slow growth rate). That growth in surrounding counties is guaranteed to provide more customers to Carilion. If Carilion did start to flounder, it could be devestating to the economy of western VA, (more so than the decline of any other institution) so if anybody can convince people to get serious, Murphy can.

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Looks like the intermodal rail facility in Roanoke will soon be a reality as the state is making a major contribution to help NS make it happen. Just simply fantastic news for our economy. roanoke times

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Excellent news. See, now Carilion won't have to worry. William Fralin said this is the biggest economic development news for Roanoke in 20 years. I'd say this will help things along nicely, and might even make us even more attractive to Toyota.

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I heard Kaine is meeting at the O. Winston Link Museum to discuss the Norfolk-Southern Intermodal station located somewhere in the Valley. When is this?

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News of 160 more new jobs. This time from a manufacturer moving to Franklin County. I have not seen a series of announcements like this since I have lived here. roanoke times

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I haven't seen anything quite like this since I have lived in Roanoke either, and I moved from Radford when I was less than 1 year old. The Roanoke area is on a roll, it seems. I think this could be the very beginning stages of the boom we've been anticipating.

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Of course, I havent seen anything like this in the Roanoke area, but I can get a feel that this hasn't happened since probably the time when the railroad was HUGE here. Roanoke city said it wants to get rid of surface lots, and Norfolk Southern is pondering a office tower in DT. That is just a rumor though.

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With all the good news, it'll be alright to discuss one potentially bad occurance. The city is cutting back its funding of the Convention and Visitors bureau. roanoke times

It appears to me that if the other localities contribute more 'fairly' in Burcham's eyes, the city's funding will be restored. The city should spend more, not less; even if other localities don't contribute.

... Norfolk Southern is pondering a office tower in DT. That is just a rumor though.

I'd love to see another 15+ story building. We haven't gotten one since the early 90s. (Unless you count the hospital expansion (it is 15 stories tall, but it connects to the other 15+story part of the hospital.)

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