Norfolk, Virginia Injury Lawyer Report – New Amtrak Service is Coming Soon to Norfolk
A new Amtrak passenger train service linking Norfolk, VA with Richmond and Washington DC is expected to open a year earlier than originally planned.
The service would link Norfolk’s planned new Harbor Park station with Richmond and beyond. Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell has announced the service is likely to start rolling by Dec. 31 2012, according to the Virginian-Pilot. The service was not originally expected to start until Oct. 2013.
Thelma Drake, Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation director, said work to prepare Norfolk Southern and CSX tracks for the passenger rail has moved more quickly than originally expected, the Virginian-Pilot reported.
The state of Virginia is spending more than $100 million to upgrade the freight corridors between Norfolk and Petersburg and Richmond.
The service would allow travellers to get to the nation’s capital and back in the same day if they board a 5 a.m. service from Norfolk, VA.
See this video about the derailment of the Tide.
“This service will provide immediate relief to road weary travelers between two of the state’s most congested regions,” McDonnell said in a news release. “This service is long overdue and I congratulate our partners and commend their cooperation in moving up the scheduled start date.”
Amtrak estimates about 67,000 customers will to use the Norfolk service a year.
Given the arrival of the Tide light rail service in Norfolk in 2011, the city is rapidly becoming a key mass transit hub.
But as Norfolk-based mass transit injury lawyers we have some concerns about the safety record of Amtrak services as well as the Tide.
While the light rail system has had few accidents since it started working in 2011, a light rail train derailed in West Brambleton Avenue, Norfolk, VA near the American Red Cross building. Six people were on board but nobody was hurt. Operator error is believed to be to blame.
In June, 2007, a serious Amtrak crash near Reno (NV) left six people dead and many more injured. This crash was caused by a truck on a railroad crossing. As an experienced Virginia (VA) railroad accident/FELA injury attorney I have dealt with many accidents on railroad crossings.
The Tide and proposed new Amtrak services into Norfolk pose some safety concerns because they increase the number of locations in which trains can come into contact with other road users.