Fw: State hunts for contractor to build Roanoke Amtrak platform

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Wed Dec 7 13:04:50 EST 2016

Submitted by, Jeff Hensley

Sent: Wednesday, December 7, 2016 8:04 AM
Subject: State hunts for contractor to build Roanoke Amtrak platform

State hunts for contractor to build Roanoke Amtrak platform

[Amtrak 176 Northeast Regional train in Lynchburg]<http://www.roanoke.com/business/news/roanoke/state-hunts-for-contractor-to-build-roanoke-amtrak-platform/article_5aed1cc9-9e4a-5cdf-a03d-518ef1a2c891.html?mode=image&photo=1>

The Roanoke Times | File

Amtrak 176 Northeast Regional train in Lynchburg

Passengers board the Amtrak 176 Northeast Regional train in Lynchburg. Amtrak is scheduled to extend service to Roanoke in 2017.

[Amtrak Northeast Regional]<http://www.roanoke.com/business/news/roanoke/state-hunts-for-contractor-to-build-roanoke-amtrak-platform/article_5aed1cc9-9e4a-5cdf-a03d-518ef1a2c891.html?mode=image&photo=>

The Roanoke Times | Fil

Posted: Tuesday, December 6, 2016 1:24 pm

State hunts for contractor to build Roanoke Amtrak platform<http://roanoke.com/business/news/roanoke/state-hunts-for-contractor-to-build-roanoke-amtrak-platform/article_5aed1cc9-9e4a-5cdf-a03d-518ef1a2c891.html> By Jeff Sturgeon jeff.sturgeon at roanoke.com<mailto:jeff.sturgeon at roanoke.com> 981-3251 roanoke.com

The state is in the process of choosing a contractor to build Virginia's first raised Amtrak platform in downtown Roanoke.

Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation spokesman Chris Smith said Monday that crews likely will start building the boarding facility early next year and need 10 months to complete it.

Officials expect the service to begin in late 2017. When the project was announced in 2014, officials predicted service would launch in September 2017.

Years in the works, the passenger train will restart a service shut down in Roanoke more than 35 years ago.

The 800-foot platform will sit between existing freight tracks and Norfolk Avenue near the Campbell Court bus station. Designed to match the height of the floor of the train car, the platform will allow for level boarding, a benefit for passengers with limited mobility and those in wheelchairs.

Amtrak riders everywhere else in Virginia must use stairs or a lift to enter the car because all others stations have low platforms near ground level.

The platform phase of Roanoke's Amtrak project had been scheduled to begin this fall. Smith said he did not know the specific reason for the delay.

Amtrak will operate the service on Norfolk Southern tracks.

One daily outbound train and one daily return train are planned. According to a tentative schedule, the train will depart Roanoke at 6:19 a.m. Lynchburg, which has had passenger train service since 2009, will be the first stop. The train should reach Washington, D.C., five hours after it leaves Roanoke. The train will come back to Roanoke near 10 p.m.

The Commonwealth Transportation Board was told Tuesday that project planners need $1 million added to a previously budgeted $101.7 million to establish the Roanoke Amtrak service. The money is intended to pay for track work between Roanoke and Lynchburg, the boarding platform and a train servicing center at Albemarle Avenue and Williamson Road now under construction
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