At least we now have Amtrak service from Lynchburg to DC. From the Daily Progress:
The new train was due to arrive at the station at 2:15 p.m., and it pulled in at roughly 2:24 p.m.
Beginning in Lynchburg, the train officially starts its service today and will add 14 more trips per week in Charlottesville. It came to Charlottesville on Wednesday from Culpeper and then headed to Lynchburg after Kaine â€” who received a rail hat that said â€œChief Engineer,â€ a train whistle and bandana â€” hopped on.
The train was originally scheduled to leave on weekdays from Lynchburg at 5:05 a.m. and arrive at Washington’s Union Station at 8:40 a.m., but that has since been revised to a 7:43 a.m. departure from Lynchburg and an 11:20 a.m. arrival in Washington.
â€œWhat I think will be emphasized is leisure travel and student travel. Because in both cases, people aren’t so tied to when they need to arrive,â€ Richards said.
I didn’t intend to write such a negative headline, as I really want to emphasize that getting even this route is a major success. But I’m colored by working with a fair number of international clients this year; in the words of one of my clients who lived in Germany for a couple years – “if a train is five minutes late, people get fired.”
Just so you know, the Amtrak code for Charlottesville is CVS. Washington DC is WAS.
If I were to buy a ticket to ride tomorrow on the Northeast Regional, I’d leave Charlottesville at 8:49am and arrive in DC at 11:20am. $45 up. Coming home, I’d leave DC at 4pm and arrive in Charlottesville at 6:26pm. $29.
Update 02 October 2009: Rick Sincere has a critical analysis of the new train service.