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Dumfries, Haymarket urge transit rail studies

Politicians in Prince William County’s towns want to explore the possibility of expanding rail transit service.

Dumfries Mayor Gerald “Jerry” Foreman penned a letter to Rep. Gerald “Gerry” Connolly about the importance of studying a possible extension of Metro to Dumfries. Connolly introduced a bill in Congress earlier this year to complete such a study.

Here’s a portion of the letter:

The Council encourages expansion of the Metro as any extension would stimulate commerce, economic development, job growth, and increase real estate development along Metro accessible areas. With 76% of Dumfries residents driving alone in their vehicles, any creation of alternative transportation would protect the environment by reducing a number of vehicles on the roadways, thus lowering fuel consumption.

Metro service runs as far south as Springfield on the Blue Line. Buses in Woodbridge ferry passengers to and from the Franconia-Springfield Metro station six days a week so they can make connections to the trains.

As usual, Metro has popped up as a campaign issue this year for both Foreman, and his opponent Scott Surovell. Both men are running to replace the long-serving Democrat Toddy Puller in the Virginia Senate in Richmond.

Voters will head to the polls to decide who will replace Puller on November 3. 

In Haymarket, the Town Council this month approved an ordinance supporting a more than two-year study that would examine what it would take to extend Virginia Railway Express to the town. 

Virginia’s only commuter railroad is eyeing the possibility of adding three new stations — Sudley Manor outside Manassas, Gainesville, and Haymarket. The new stations would be located on a rail line that is today trafficked by freight trains known as the Norfolk-Southern “B line.”

Virginia Railway Express has two lines: Manassas and Fredericksburg. Manassas line trains would serve any extension to Haymarket. The current terminus of the Manassas line is the Broad Run station at the Manassas Regional Airport.

 

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  • Davin Peterson

    It would be nice to have Metro to Woodbridge. While we have VRE, it only runs during rush hour. Many people take VRE to Franconia-Springfield to connect to Metro

  • NoVA2

    It’s not going to happen in this century because Prince William County taxpayers are not willing to pay for it!

  • Rosie

    Geez!!!! ya think? Its about time!

  • Rob Delach

    Metro Rail to Potomac Mills is in the Prince William County Comprehensive plan for after 2030. You can view the Future Transit Alternatives map here:

    http://eservice.pwcgov.org/planning/documents/MAP_10U1_2008CP_FutureTransitAlt5280.pdf

  • Richard

    Metro to Dumfries would be silly. It would cost a fortune and would not generate the ridership that is necessary to pay for the upkeep.

    The VRE line just needs to be upgraded/expanded. What if it came every hour midday and every 15-20 minutes during rush hour like real commuter rail should. That wouldn’t be every 6-20 minutes like metro but it would cost a ton less and still give people a good option.

    • TrainSpotter

      No public transit system pays for its own upkeep.

      Upgrading/expanding the VRE would be the best option, but it’s not going to happen any time in the next 10 years. The problem is the VRE shares (read: rents) tracks from CSX and they only have a few hours of each day to run a finite number of trains on the system.

      Not only that, but the bridge crossing into DC is a bottle neck for the entire northeast corridor and requires a large capital investment to increase overall traffic flow of rail in the area.

      • Kevin Diffily

        Eminent Domain it and lease it back to freight rail at off hours.



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