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monsoon

Rail Transit in Virginia

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They are looking to have the starter track construction to start around 2008. I emailed a lady from HRT they are just waiting to see what the feds do with the funds. The Feds claim that the starter track is to small for a starter track and are wiery about giving the money and it doesn't help that va beach doesn't join in on the project.

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Below is an excellent site that shows how all the specific development projects will tie in with light rail

Station area info & a ton of development projects w/ renderings

This is the starter line map

Lightrail stations in PDF

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That looks great, I hope that it does come about but the feds just don't want to give the funds to this area with a small starter section. Lets hope that it does come about.

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I would love to see the feds give Norfolk the money, but I'm doubtful. I feel the only way this starter line will be built is if Norfolk and HRT fund it themselves. Then later on down the road after the feds see that the starter line is successful they will be more apt to fund additional spurs off the starter line.

That being said, I don't think Norfolk or HRT for that matter has the $190+ million just lying around to build this project. We'll just have to wait and see if the Government will cough up the money. I'll keep my fingers crossed.

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I too doubt that the government will cough up the money. It's too bad too. A lightrail line between downtown and towncenter would spur an unbelievable amount of development between those two areas. I just don't know why our government can't see it.

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I too doubt that the government will cough up the money. It's too bad too. A lightrail line between downtown and towncenter  would spur an unbelievable amount of development between those two areas. I just don't know why opur government can't see it.

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we would get the money if va beach will get with the program and join in on the project instead of bumping heads with norfolk. Va beach causes alot of problems when it comes to this. If they wise up this will help the whole area.

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That is a pretty nice plan in the links above. Its interesting that in one of the links I saw a Siemens LRT trainset with a HR logo on the side.

A comment on the funding issue. The Federal FTA these days will not provide any funding to a project unless there is a plan for 50% local funding (can come from state, local or both) So the first step would be in a plan for locally funding the system. Some places have done this by adding new taxes specifically for non-highway transit. Would that be a possibility?

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That is a pretty nice plan in the links above.  Its interesting that in one of the links I saw a Siemens LRT trainset with a HR logo on the side. 

A comment on the funding issue.  The Federal FTA these days will not provide any funding to a project unless there is a plan for 50% local funding (can come from state, local or both)  So the first step would be in a plan for locally funding the system.  Some places have done this by adding new taxes specifically for non-highway transit.  Would that be a possibility?

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Richmond does its best not to give this area any money to help the area grow. We would have to come up with the money ourselves in taxes or some form. Richmond would not give us the money to build a third crossing to the pennisula so private contractors are trying to build it now. I can't stand Richmond they royally screw this area.

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That is a pretty nice plan in the links above.  Its interesting that in one of the links I saw a Siemens LRT trainset with a HR logo on the side. 

A comment on the funding issue.  The Federal FTA these days will not provide any funding to a project unless there is a plan for 50% local funding (can come from state, local or both)  So the first step would be in a plan for locally funding the system.  Some places have done this by adding new taxes specifically for non-highway transit.  Would that be a possibility?

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Raising taxes in Virginia at anytime, ever, is politcal suicide. I don't see any of our politicians trying that one. Private development is an option, however rail historically almost always runs at a loss. I don't see any private deloper stepping up to the plate for such a shaky deal either.

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People in Va always whine when raising taxes are brought to the table. The state will give us very little money to help. But if it was in Richmond the state would already have it on the table and ready to develop

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I am originally from Oregon and go to Portland every year. If you know about light rail you probably have heard of Portland... BUT there is also another form of rail transit in use there as well: these really cool Skoda streetcars that are very modern and interesting looking. From what I can gather, they are cheaper than LR is and they can be put onto existing roadways, etc. To make them work, certain lanes could be "dedicated" to the streetcars or the streetcars' tracks could be built along the current LR route for a cheaper cost and thus faster approval. Because the cars are modern looking and about the same width as a bus, perhaps VA Beach and Norfolk could (gasp) look into working together on something like this. Real trolleys would look much better than BRT or the bus trolleys that are in use now. And VA Beach already has the dedicated lanes inplace. LR would be much more intrusive into the CBD of Norfolk anyway. With the streetcar perhaps another rail could be run over Campostella and into Chesapeake, thus increasing ridership and driving down costs.

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I am originally from Oregon and go to Portland every year.  If you know about light rail you probably have heard of Portland... BUT there is also another form of rail transit in use there as well: these really cool Skoda streetcars that are very modern and interesting looking.  From what I can gather, they are cheaper than LR is and they can be put onto existing roadways, etc.  To make them work, certain lanes could be "dedicated" to the streetcars or the streetcars' tracks could be built along the current LR route for a cheaper cost and thus faster approval.  Because the cars are modern looking and about the same width as a bus, perhaps VA Beach and Norfolk could (gasp) look into working together on something like this.  Real trolleys would look much better than BRT or the bus trolleys that are in use now.  And VA Beach already has the dedicated lanes inplace.  LR would be much more intrusive into the CBD of Norfolk anyway.  With the streetcar perhaps another rail could be run over Campostella and into Chesapeake, thus increasing ridership and driving down costs.

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Va Beach is full steam ahead on BRT, and the cost of intalling rail in areas where it doesnt already exist must be prohibitive. Norfolk on the other hand is focusing on light rail. I don't think you're going to see any merging of transtit systems for quite some time. Again, as previously stated, my dream is a light rail line between Towncenter and DT Norfork. By the time that happens though, i'll probably be rolling up to the station in a wheel chair B) .

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I don't understand why vabeach will not join in on helping the area. They are so stubborn and trying to be different from norfolk that they would rather hurt the area than jump on board with norfolk. The rail is already there from the town center. My dad works for Norfolk and Southern and the rail that Norfolk is using has been abandoned for years and its the same rail line that runs right next to the town center. Vabeach has the biggest head and has not one reason to have either.

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I don't understand why vabeach will not join in on helping the area. They are so stubborn and trying to be different from norfolk that they would rather hurt the area than jump on board with norfolk. The rail is already there from the town center. My dad works for Norfolk and Southern and the rail that Norfolk is using has been abandoned for years and its the same rail line that runs right next to the town center. Vabeach has the biggest head and has not one reason to have either.

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Yup...thats very well said. Light rail could have solved a lot of this regions problems, but without Va beach, its not very useful. good job va beach! <_<

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I like what I am seeing in those plans. I really like that Fort Norfolk rendering :)

Does Richmond not have any plans for rail?

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I like what I am seeing in those plans. I really like that Fort Norfolk rendering :)

Does Richmond not have any plans for rail?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

They are really not big enough for a rail system to be feasible. Our area is so much bigger than Richmond

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They are really not big enough for a rail system to be feasible. Our area is so much bigger than Richmond

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

True, which is why i don't understand why every single plan for highspeed rail has it going right from D.C. through Richmond and to Charlotte while totally bypassing Hampton Roads. I just don't know how they can justify that.

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True, which is why i don't understand why every single plan for highspeed rail has it going right from D.C. through Richmond and to Charlotte while totally bypassing Hampton Roads. I just don't know how they can justify that.

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Virginia does not have a great reputation for being visionary. The banks from North Carolina which came in and took over all the Virginia banks are a good example.

Accepting the construction of I-64 to end in a "cul-de-sac" here in Hampton Roads instead of either insisting that it, or another interstate, link Hampton Roads and the Raleigh area and/or go down the coast through to Wilmington, Myrtle Beach, Charleston, etc., was another big mistake.

Building two average size arenas in Hampton and Norfolk 30+ years ago was a big mistake.

Constructing a metro area from a bunch of contiguous cities and counties was another.

All that being said, this is still a nice area to live for twice as many reasons as why it is not. However, it is not all that surprising that high speed rail plans ignore us, as we have no history of connecting to other areas.

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I agree and when these other cities came about because Norfolk annexed land from the counties it became the death of this area. But the military doesn't help this situation either. People see that we are mostly supported by the military and they don't see us as a viable metro area.

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True, which is why i don't understand why every single plan for highspeed rail has it going right from D.C. through Richmond and to Charlotte while totally bypassing Hampton Roads. I just don't know how they can justify that.

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1.) Its the state that wants this 2.) Its straight between Charlotte and DC 3.) We are not a direct route between the two which they will look and see if it will be viable to spend the money to attach this area 4.) They think we will drive to Richmond to use the rail

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They are really not big enough for a rail system to be feasible. Our area is so much bigger than Richmond

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Perhaps, but Richmond has nearly 1 million (if it hasn't passed that on recent estimate). Charlotte has slightly more than that, and it is constructing an LRT system.

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I agree and when these other cities came about because Norfolk annexed land from the counties it became the death of this area. But the military doesn't help this situation either. People see that we are mostly supported by the military and they don't see us as a viable metro area.

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Norfolk is nationally known as a military/navy town. I think its facilities are safe though, since it and Jax are essentially the only military naval bases on the East Coast. So I don't see why it can be used as a benefit.

1.) Its the state that wants this  2.) Its straight between Charlotte and DC  3.) We are not a direct route between the two which they will look and see if it will be viable to spend the money to attach this area  4.) They think we will drive to Richmond to use the rail

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According to this map, the HSR corridor will include the Hamton Roads area, though it looks like you will have to connect in Richmond.

sehsrmap.gif

Southeast High Speed Rail Corridor

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