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In Focus: Newport News Multimodal Passenger Rail Station Development

In Focus: Newport News Multimodal Passenger Rail Station Development

Newport News Multimodal Passenger Rail Station DevelopmentThe annual ridership on the Amtrak passenger rail service from the Newport News station currently exceeds 110,000. To better accommodate this growing public demand for passenger rail service and amenities, the City of Newport News is starting to transition the vision and future of the city and region’s passenger rail station.

Built in the early 1980s, the existing station at 9302 Warwick Boulevard is operating well beyond its capacity under current ridership. The current station faces multiple challenges, including:

  • Inadequate size – station waiting area accommodates 25 persons, in contrast to the 200 daily departures
  • Poor outdoor waiting area – passengers waiting for the train have to idle in a narrow, undersized, and poorly sheltered platform with no outdoor seating
  • Poor ADA compliance – the platform is not elevated above rail, creating challenges and requiring mechanical lifts to assist passengers with mobility challenges
  • No room for growth – the station is in a two-acre site with limited parking and no expansion options

Newport News Multimodal Passenger Rail Station Development

With the challenges presented by the existing station, the City of Newport News, in collaboration with stakeholders such as Amtrak, CSX, and the HRTPO to name a few, are looking to relocate the station to a larger, city owned site with greater visibility and potential for future growth and development. Additionally, the vision for this relocated station is for it to be multimodal in nature, providing seamless connections to transit providers and the Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport.

At a site off the junction of Bland Boulevard and I-64, the new Newport News Multimodal Passenger Rail station is envisioned as a fully staffed, Amtrak Class I facility, with physical design and service features that are standard for a large sized passenger rail terminal. Those amenities, as derived from the Amtrak Classification Standards (Table 1) include:

  • Elevated platforms for level boarding
  • Future light rail/commuter rail platform
  • 200 seat lobby (minimum)
  • Airport style ticketing counters
  • Business class amenities
  • Retail space for vendors
  • Bus pull offs and turnarounds for HRT & Greyhound
  • Structured long term parking
  • Shuttle service to the Airport

Amtrak Classification Standards

The City of Newport News is currently preparing to have a consultant selected in Summer 2012 to design the station. Funding for the station has been identified by the HRTPO, with $2 million of Regional Surface Transportation Program (RSTP) and $18 million of Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) funds dedicated to the project. Construction for the station is anticipated to commence in 2016/2017.
For more information on the Newport News Multimodal Passenger Rail Station Development Project, please contact Mr. Michael King of the Newport News Planning Department at mking@nngov.com.

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