D.C. train does twice as well as expected

D.C. train does twice as well as expected

Good news, greenies: Nearly three months after its inaugural trip, the passenger train from Charlottesville to D.C. is doing twice as well as expected.

At its first stop back in October, Governor Tim Kaine, members of the Charlottesville City Council, Albemarle County Board of Supervisors and one very proud rail advocate, Meredith Richards, were in attendance. Richards’ activist organization, Cville Rail, has been fighting for alternative transportation since 2005.

Meredith Richards, who, at the time of the train’s inaugural trip, was sporting a cast-clad broken foot for the occasion, greets the first train, coming in from Culpeper.

Also in attendance were delegates Rob Bell and David Toscano who, at the time, said: "Our challenge now is to show enough ridership, so we can keep this train in place." Looks like that won’t be such a challenge after all.

The news of the train’s progress is great for the state, which allocated $17M to the new service, not to mention excellent news for the environment. The less people taking long trips in cars—and, subsequently, the less carbon emitted into the atmosphere—the better.

The air pollution created per passenger mile is 4,118 oz. by plane, 2,258 oz. by car and 708 oz. by train, according to calculations by the Sierra Club.

What about you, readers? Has anyone out there taken a train ride from Charlottesville? What do you think of this good news?