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Unread 10-29-2010, 08:42 PM
 
Location: Roanoke VA
1,949 posts, read 3,525,289 times
Reputation: 733
Default Regional Co:operation Anyone?

Well, it finally happened! Lynchburg Regional Airport will lose its Delta service to Atlanta in January 2011. US Air will quickly add another flight to Charlotte.
Under Mark Courtneys' leadership as airport manager LYH has been doing very well in attracting new airline business to the Hill City. As a former travel agent I know this is a big blow to Lynchburgs' business and leisure travelers.
I know it was a tough struggle to finally get regional jets back into LYH. Over 25 years ago Roanoke-Lynchburg had the chance to build one big airport instead of 2 small regional facilities. None at that time could look ahead(just like today). I wouldn't be surprised if LYH stops serving commercial travelers soon as there is a cost-cutting move by the big merged airlines to stop serving smaller airports.
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Unread 10-30-2010, 01:46 AM
 
Location: Lynchburg
103 posts, read 162,910 times
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And from what I understand, most of those Delta flights were jam packed so this decision just doesn't seem to make much sense. I always felt that a larger airport in the middle of Bedford Co. would serve the region better than having the 2 smaller airports.
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Unread 10-30-2010, 07:02 AM
 
Location: Roanoke VA
1,949 posts, read 3,525,289 times
Reputation: 733
The loss of air service is never a good thing when it comes to attracting new
business. Roanokes' airport is land locked with no room to expand in the future especially for UPS, Fed Ex planes. Blacksburg is building the states' longest runway, for what I don't quite understand. The airlines are getting bigger and the de:regulated airline industry favors the major airports in lieu of smaller regional airports. In other words, people who fly out of small airports pay more to offset the discounts offered to those who fly out of major airports. The Fed Govt wants to eliminate service to smaller airports as a cost cutting move, especially the control towers. There is one positive I read Southwest/Air Tran is planning to enter the small airport market, why not LYH or ROA? If Mark Courtney can't make it happen at LYH then none can!
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Unread 10-30-2010, 08:20 PM
 
Location: Massachusetts
4,052 posts, read 5,464,911 times
Reputation: 3492
Regional airports could very well become a thing of the past. As more and more passengers become fed up with the higher fares in regional airports, they end up choosing to travel to the big airports for the lower fares. These regional airports across the country need the air service, the passengers and the revenue that comes with all that. I think many of these airports are losing business each year now. I wouldn't be surprised if we don't see some smaller airports, completely shut down in the next few years if things don't change.
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Unread 10-30-2010, 09:25 PM
 
Location: Roanoke VA
1,949 posts, read 3,525,289 times
Reputation: 733
Default Future Shock

Chattanooga TN wants to build a high speed rail to the Atlanta airport(about 120 miles). It would take less than a hour to get there. Why bother with those regional jets(just about everything from CHA is a regional now) and they all go to Atlanta, plus the airport security hassle. It would actually take less time from Chattanooga by rail than worrying about those regional jets.

On the other hand Roanoke is about 150 miles from Washington DC(Dulles Airport). A high speed rail could reach the airport in about an hour and also save the hassle of flying out of these mountains, fog and regional jets.
The interstate 81 is falling apart and it will cost more to build new roads than improving rail.

The smaller airports have a place for cargo, private aviation but as far as commercial purposes their days may be numbered. Driving from Roanoke-Lynchburg to many larger airports is rather routine to get the lowest fare. What we don't realize is that we are telling the airlines we really don't mind driving 3-4 hours to save a hundred bucks!

If we could somehow get our government to focus on THIS country instead of every place else, we may on the right track!
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Unread 11-03-2010, 08:13 PM
 
625 posts, read 700,946 times
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I've heard rumblings of a possible 2nd Northeast regional train out of Lynchburg; couple this with the expansion of metro out to Dulles, and that's a start. High speed would make it more realistic as a connection to a large airport. Starting a NE train in Roanoke through Lynchburg and North shouldn't be much of a stretch and the Blue Ridge section on NS between Rke and Lyn could be a higher speed line; it used to host the Amtrak Hilltopper in the early eighties. A large airport west of Bedford sure would be the ticket for Roanoke and Lynchburg travelers and wouldn't be bad for those in Blacksburg, as well.
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Unread 11-05-2010, 02:34 AM
 
Location: On the Rails in Northern NJ
12,140 posts, read 11,421,917 times
Reputation: 4085
Eventually Amtrak will electrify the line between DC and Richmond although for the Acela to travel down to Richmond. Once that happens then the line to Norfolk / The Hamptons will be Electrified. The line between Richmond and Bristol via Roanoke / Lynchburg will be a HSR in a diesel format with a Top speed of 120mph. The goal of the whole system is to have 10-15 round-trips daily for the intercity Rail service and a commuter rail service operating out form Richmond. I have seen VA's long Term Transportation plans , they look very promising. A Small Streetcar network will be built in Roanoke , Lynchburg , and Bristol. Streetcars are very cheap to build and they'll appeal to the Middle class and the people who wouldn't ride a bus. A Light Rail / Streetcar network will be built in Richmond , NOVA , and Hampton Roads / Norfolk. Together those systems will add ridership to the planned Virgina Intercity Rail network. The streetcar / Light Rail systems will boost the growth of each city that builds them in a positive way. Of course this system won't be fully built till 2040.
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Unread 11-05-2010, 08:34 PM
 
Location: Roanoke VA
1,949 posts, read 3,525,289 times
Reputation: 733
Yes, I have heard of some of those plans and finally someone is paying attention to rail. I know there is great interest in Roanoke for streetcars and I do believe it will happen one day. I also believe Amtrak should re:examine its route structure to focus on areas without any passenger rail service(Roanoke, Bristol, Knoxville, etc). I'm wondering why Amtrak doesn't consider a route from Memphis-Nashville-Knoxville-Bristol-Roanoke-Harrisonburg, with ongoing service to DC. I know TN needs rail and also western VA. Also, I remember there was a rail route from Cincinnati to Roanoke at one time(I'm not sure if it was Amtrak 25 years ago or Norfolk-Western). I know passenger rail is one of the top priorities locally in Roanoke. I believe the routes should be more extensive since there are too many areas out there which have no passenger rail. Of course there is always this little problem with Norfolk Southern who does not want passenger rail to interfere with freight traffic. I am thinking about the Roanoke-Lynchburg route. BTW, a NHRS excursion train will use the Roa-Lyh tracks this weekend so I guess NS is cooling to the idea. There was just recently an NHRS excursion train with Amtrak from NC to Roanoke for the day. Over 1,000 people came here for the first time. The business people had a great day!
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Unread 11-07-2010, 04:46 PM
 
Location: On the Rails in Northern NJ
12,140 posts, read 11,421,917 times
Reputation: 4085
Quote:
Originally Posted by roanoker 4 View Post
Yes, I have heard of some of those plans and finally someone is paying attention to rail. I know there is great interest in Roanoke for streetcars and I do believe it will happen one day. I also believe Amtrak should re:examine its route structure to focus on areas without any passenger rail service(Roanoke, Bristol, Knoxville, etc). I'm wondering why Amtrak doesn't consider a route from Memphis-Nashville-Knoxville-Bristol-Roanoke-Harrisonburg, with ongoing service to DC. I know TN needs rail and also western VA. Also, I remember there was a rail route from Cincinnati to Roanoke at one time(I'm not sure if it was Amtrak 25 years ago or Norfolk-Western). I know passenger rail is one of the top priorities locally in Roanoke. I believe the routes should be more extensive since there are too many areas out there which have no passenger rail. Of course there is always this little problem with Norfolk Southern who does not want passenger rail to interfere with freight traffic. I am thinking about the Roanoke-Lynchburg route. BTW, a NHRS excursion train will use the Roa-Lyh tracks this weekend so I guess NS is cooling to the idea. There was just recently an NHRS excursion train with Amtrak from NC to Roanoke for the day. Over 1,000 people came here for the first time. The business people had a great day!
IDk , about Tennessee the plans have it going to Bristol and No further but you never know. Amtrak Regional is only supposed to serve only the Northeast , however the long term plans call for it to be expanded into Delaware to Dover and Ocean City,MD and to Norfolk,VA. They also call for having the Main Northeast Regional line run form Norfolk to Portland,ME. But Thats at least 20 years away though. If you double track / replace track and upgrade signals then you can operate Freight alongside Passenger trains like up here. However CSX does not like doing that, and if you have every noticed VRE and Amtrak are always delayed by that. Which delays trains up here. To be honest , VDot needs to force CSX to upgrade its tracks. The Derailment a few years ago wasn't enough i guess.



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Unread 11-08-2010, 01:59 PM
 
1,410 posts, read 915,269 times
Reputation: 1500
Oh, I like the look of that. That is the plans of a future oriented area, shame it wasn't done 20 years ago.

I assume if it ever does happen it would be like 2050 or something.

Rail connecting Roanoke to points east or west is a good thing, it opens up the east coast. Seems much easier than driving to Lynchburg or Richmond. The track to Christianburg might take some traffic off the interstate too if an efficient shuttle to Virginia Tech could be built as well.

This is something we need to take a page from the Europeans and Asians on; high speed light rail is wonderful, and if combined with parallel freight its downright great.
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