Train Service About to Get Faster in Central VA

Roanoke, VA - Norfolk Southern is working on a major realignment plan. There are lots of crews and equipment in the central rail yard, much of it near the Hotel Roanoke downtown.

It's all connected to the Crescent Carrier Project, which is an plan to make product transportation more efficient, from New York to New Orleans.

There will be passenger benefits, too, though, including the fact that the work also serves as preparation for the coming passenger train platform in Roanoke.

Norfolk Southern is adding several rail lines, along with other infrastructure, like switches.

Further improvements will be made on the lines from Roanoke to Lynchburg.

The improved lines mean Norfolk Southern will be able to double its speed limit through Roanoke from 15 to 30 miles an hour.

"The speed of the rail traffic through Roanoke should not be an issue for us simply for the fact that the crossing gates and the lights that are in place are going to continue to exist and protect the motoring public," said Bob Bengtson, Director of Public Works.

The next step for the passenger platform will be when crews crack open the earth to reinforce a 19th century viaduct below where the platform will be.