Passenger service

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Mon Sep 27 17:21:06 EDT 2004

new message below

Date: Mon, 27 Sep 2004 08:41:13 EDT 
To: nw-mailing-list at 
From: nw-mailing-list at
Subject:  Re: N&W Amtrak service

Right on, Don.  Everybody wants passenger service;
they just don't want to ride the trains.  Former
Roanoke Mayor Bowers endorses passenger service.
Do you think he'll ever ride it ?  In Oct., 1970, I
rode the N&W train to Bristol.  This was when there
were still gaps in I-81 (Dixie Caverns to Christians-
burg).  When the train arrived in Bristol, it had one
revenue passenger and he had to transfer to bus to
complete his trip.  Don't get me wrong -- I think
there are markets where passenger service would be
"The Hilltopper" had to be hauled backwards
Richmond-Secoast because Amtrak found it too expensive
to install a connection at Petersburg between N&W's
main line and ACL's Pocahontas Lead.  That had been
the original ACL main line through Petersburg and the
route the shuttles used between the station and the
ACL main line at North Dunlop.
If you want a potential boondoogle, look at the South
East High Speed Rail Corridor -- Washington - Atlanta
via Richmond-Petersburg-Raleigh-Greensboro.  It will
require that 60 plus miles of former SAL track be
restored from the ground up Collier to Norlina.  The
route selected is about 62 miles longer than using the
NS main line Alexandria-Greensboro.  If time is of the
essence, why select a longer route ?  And by the way,
once completed, CSX has expressed an interest in using
the route for their freight service, Raleigh to
Collier Yard.  Recently, Dinwiddie County has objected
to restoring the line because it interferes with a
park there.  Now I'm told,  consideration is being
given to routing traffic to Jarratt, then restoring
the former VGN Jarratt to Alberta.

Harry Bundy

September 27, 2004

Hello, Harry:

Your observation about the trip to Bristol reminds me
of trips I made between 1968 and 1970 from
Charlottesville to Radford, usually on trains 41 and
42.  It seems the only time coaches were filled was
when VPI or Radford College were starting or ending
sessions.  On more than one occasion, I had a coach to
myself.  Even then, I rarely sat in a seat, preferring
the vestibule's open dutch door for experiencing the
passing scenery.

In 1971 through 1974 I also rode the Asheville Special
a few times from Biltmore to Salisbury, then to/from
Alexandria on Southern trains 5 and 6.  This was an
era when there was a dome car in the consist.  I can
remember having the dome car to myself.  Train crews
remarked that it was only full during the Autumn, and
then only from Asheville to Hickory.

I've killed the weeds along the cement platform at
Boyce.  It's all ready for the next time 1 and 2 or 15
and 16 are going to start again, which I am sure is
any day now.

Best wishes all,


Dr. Frank R. Scheer, Curator
Railway Mail Service Library, Inc.
f_scheer at
(202) 268-2121 - weekday office
(540) 837-9090 - weekend afternoons 
in the former N&W station on VA rte 723 
117 East Main Street 
Boyce  VA  22620-9639

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