- What is the actual cost to become operational?
- Does this cost include equipment?
- How would this differ from current Amtrak service?
- How long before this is financially self-supporting?
- Who will benefit from this?
- What ridership is expected?
- How do I travel after I get off the train?
- Is there a travel time improvement?
- Is this high-speed rail?
- Why can’t this wait for better financial times?
Current studies support a liberal state cost estimate of up to $120 million to complete upgrades to the entire rail line, about the same cost as 10 miles of Interstate highway construction.
No. This is the capital cost for tracks. Equipment will be purchased or leased over 15 years at about $2.9 million per year.
Service would use modern premium rail equipment; faster, smoother, more comfortable, and with greater amenities than on current rail equipment.
Because the service would be statewide rather than long distance, rigid schedules for daily round trips would be maintained.
The 1998 Bristol Rail Passenger study predicted sufficiently generated revenues to cover annual operating expenses by the seventh year. However, because ridership was substantially higher than predicted, the Pacific Northwest Cascades Line, after which the TDX is modeled, surprised its supporters by reaching that goal in about half that time.
- Travelers from northern Virginia, Richmond, and the Tennessee border and all those in-between will benefit from reduced congestion and pollution on highways.
- Unencumbered travelers can multitask or rest while riding, and at only about 20 cents/mile as compared to current 34.5 cents/mile car reimbursements.
- Operation of the TDX will also expand commuter rail possibilities.
Projections start with annual ridership of 372,100, increasing to 476,00 in five years, 582,500 in ten, and 782,100 in twenty years.
Following the Cascades line model, community supported train stations will have the option to boost local retail and tourism economies by developing shuttles and other companion transportation systems coordinated with the established train schedules.
Travel time will roughly approximate that in a private vehicle, absent traffic jams. Roanoke to Lynchburg should be about an hour, Lynchburg to Richmond, about two.
Technically, no. Although it is faster and smoother than standard rail, the 380 miles between Bristol and Washington should take about 7 hours, 45 minutes.
This is an excellent efficient use of transportation funds. One train can replace 600 cars on our highways. And, there are air quality and run-off advantages along with an increasing concern to plan for and meet EPA air quality compliance standards, short- and long-term.