The Crescent Corridor

Brent Finnegan -- February 13th, 2008

The Wall Street Journal has an interesting story today on the resurgence of the rail. It touches specifically on what’s being called the Crescent Corridor, which would (or does) cut right through this area.

From the article:

…Virginia created a rail-enhancement fund in 2005 from car-rental fees and is spending $40 million to improve a Norfolk Southern freight line in the state. The railroad industry is urging Congress to pass a railroad investment tax credit to fund rail improvements.

Norfolk Southern’s most ambitious project is the Crescent Corridor, a network of tracks between the New York City area and New Orleans. The company touts the corridor as a cheaper and more environmentally friendly alternative to widening highways such as Interstate 81, which runs through Virginia’s scenic Shenandoah Valley.

Trucks make four million to 4.5 million trips annually along I-81 in Virginia, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation. Norfolk Southern envisions a route with enough speed and capacity to displace about a million truck trips a year. It is seeking funding for most of the $2 billion project from the U.S. government and states along the corridor.

We’ve written about the “rail solution” on HBN on more than one occasion.

7 Responses to “The Crescent Corridor”

  1. Derik says:

    I say put me on the rail. Seriously, I’d travel to DC, Charlottesville or New York more if I could hop a train and not have to worry about where I leave my car, gas, or parking. Every time I fly out of DC on a redeye I wish for a rail system to get me there so I wouldn’t have to drive at all hours of the night. I could stop flying redeye but that’s to simple. Let the trucks roll. Give me a raised monorail up and down the valley instead. If you’ve ever taken the train from Scotland down through the English countryside to London you understand what I mean.

  2. finnegan says:

    I’m not sure if the Crescent is for passenger trains, but I was having this discussion with someone at Calhoun’s the other day — if we had rural commuter rails (like there are many places in Europe), we could go to C’ville or Staunton with friends for the evening, come back later without messing with taxis or DDs.

  3. David Miller says:

    God, I would love this. Both decreasing the truck traffic (subsidized transportation for all of us but mostly the trucks, which we all need but we all hate to be in front of while driving down hill on interstate) and giving us a commuter option. I’d travel so much more. Charlottesville and Staunton on a train (maybe a drink or two with dinner and no DUI worries!). I love this idea!

  4. samhottinger says:

    I agree with the idea of increased rail traffic. However, after seeing the new antenna in the city and some other dealings I have had with the Rail Road, I think we need to reel in the Rail Roads lack of responsibility to state and local governments. They still operate under rules that helped start them in the 1800’s. Suddenly they are trying to represent themselves as green, but look at all the property they own in the City and tell me how environmentally friendly they have been. Rail is definitely a better way, and I would love to catch a train to travel, but I am not sure that the companies running our rail system today are capable of doing anything but lning their own pockets at our expense.

  5. Derik says:

    Here again I agree with you Sam. Changes need to be made in regard to the Rail Road.

    It would be ideal to have a conscientious philanthropist from the private sector back a rail system like I mentioned. Not likely, but I’ll continue to spin my dream catcher anyway.

  6. finnegan says:

    “I think we need to reel in the Rail Roads lack of responsibility to state and local governments.”

    Agreed, Sam.

    I found another article about the Crescent project. This is from today’s Roanoke Times:

    Coupled with an expected increase in cars, analysts forecast daily, stop-and-go traffic on I-81 in the Roanoke area and most of the major cities in the Shenandoah Valley by 2035 without major improvements.

  7. Frank J Witt says:

    Some interesting facts about our local railways and those surrounding us. One day I would enjoy the ride from here to 18201 but the time is the issue. I enjoyed the sights and sounds of a train ride from PA to Florida although it took 24 hours. Some of the nicest artwork on buildings just happen to be along major rail lines. Philadelphia, Baltimore, and some town in Georgia (where the trains actually goes right thru the center of town along Main Street) just mention a few of the bright spots. I forget how much it cost but it is cheaper than driving and WAY cheaper and less headache than flying.

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