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Matthew McDonald

I see you.

Notice: Comments that are not conducive to an interesting and thoughtful conversation may be removed at the editor’s discretion.

  1. Scott Burger on said:



    the railroad shipped 228.5 million tons of coal in 2011, down slightly from 229.2 million tons in 2010.

  2. Denny R. on said:

    A reason for reduced coal production and coal shipments is the fact that natural gas is becoming much less expensive to remove from the ground.


  3. Scott Burger on said:

    Hopefully more coal rail can be repurposed BACK to passenger rail.

    Unfortunately, right now, too much of West Virginia still being sold off to China.

  4. James tepe on said:

    Denny, nice job with a fact based common sense answer. Problem is, scott burger cares nothing about facts or common sense, he will use empty made up lines to paint all corporations with a broad brush as bad.

    Maybe scott needs do some research on Amtrak capacity and financial performance, then tell us again how we need to repurpose rail back to passenger. Take a look at the problem of adding a single high speed line between here and DC, which would likely be well used, and then tell us how repurposing freight lines across the country would be helpful. Wont you then complain about the enormous costs associated with such repurpose?

    Finally, west virginia is selling a valuable natural resource to china, bringing china dollars here to this country. Let me guess, if you imply that is bad, and as yis your method you do seem to be implying it is bad, well then you must be all for china products flooding the us and american dollars flowing there? (sorry if that confuses you)

    I didnt think so. And like 90% of your extreme anti-corporation conspiracy theory rants, you lack basic knowledge of the situation. Please do us all a favor and educate yourself beyond the headlines of political fodder. Clean up all the trash on the streets of oregon hill to make better use of your energy.


  5. Jacob K on said:

    From the WVers I’ve met over the years they know coal = subsistance. They don’t think it’s a good industry or that it isn’t raping the hell out of their land, but they know it’s a paycheck and that’s what they need right NOW. Most of WV is poverty stricken and hope is in short supply in a lot of places.

    There are alot of catch 22’s when it comes to coal. Mountain-top mining degrades the scenery of a tourism state and destroys entire ecosystems, and pollutes streams and the rivers they flow into. Not to mention making the people sick. On the other hand, underground mining is less environnmentally impactful but wastes human lives.

    BUT, JT, and this is a big BUT (and I can not lie) these problems are largely mitigatable when BIG NASTY CORPORATIONS (they live, the artist formerly known as Massey), follow the laws or do their part to think a little bit big picture. Sick/Dead people make poor customers. This is unfortunately way these corporations run things as we have seen too many times from ruined families and towns, to fish die offs etc. etc.. This is often due as well to a lack of effective government regulation on these industries (poorly enforced laws). No, don’t let your Republican brain explode here JT, I am saying not MORE regulation, but EFFECTIVE regulation.

    Anyways, I appreciate Scott’s thoughts though you are right J.T. that high speed rail is insanely expensive at this point at a point in our history where we are not economically capable. The corridor from NYC to DC could be feasible but Richmond is just too tiny at this point in my opinion to justify the cost. I’d be satisfied with a better bus system/ return of light rail to certain corridors w/in the city.

    The whole gas market certainly does need be exploited but wit some common sense and oversight just like any industry. Industry does not self regulate well as has been proven during the hardcore industrial age of our past. Or are we to simply ignore it for ease and cheapness?

    bla de bla bla bla-

  6. Scott Burger on said:

    If we want better passenger rail between here and DC, we need CSX to clean up Acca train yard, which causes unreasonable delays.

    JT is full of the usual insults but offers few actual facts to counter.

  7. Scott Burger on said:

    Before I get accused of not knowing what I am talking about again, I will add these citations:


    Two Amtrak train stations serve Richmond.
    Staples Mill station (RVR) is Richmond’s primary station, located in an older section of suburban Henrico County, and is served by Northeast Corridor trains as well as several lines continuing south toward the Carolinas and Florida. Travelers heading downtown should plan on a $20-$25 taxi fare. kil;uioMain Street station (RVM) the historic station has recently been renovated and reopened, but is only served by the few Northeast Corridor trains terminating at Newport News, and the segment between Staples Mill and Main Street can be affected by delays as the train traverses CSX’s ACCA rail yard, a major freight hub.


    Unfortunately, the current rail infrastructure north and south of Main Street Station limits the passenger train service Amtrak can provide to the station
    Specifically, the interconnections between the tracks that serve Main Street Station and the main CSX north-south line in the vicinity of Centralia preclude trains that serve destinations in North Carolina and further south from reaching Main Street Station. Furthermore, the track alignment and pattern from Staples Mill Road Station and Main Street Station, through Acca Yard, induces significant delays between the two stations. The Department of Rail and Public Transit has plans to solve both of these problems, but they remain unfunded. Due to these limitations, only Northeast Regional trains that serve the northeast corridor and Newport News currently stop at Main Street Station.


    RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — John Benck boarded an Amtrak train in downtown Richmond and almost instantly regretted it. Inching along, the locomotive took a half hour to travel eight miles north to the next station.

    “I could have ridden my bike,” said Benck, a Richmond-area high school teacher traveling to New York. “It’s sort of pointless.”

    Behind the slowdown is a rail yard little known to the public but a familiar headache to rail officials. Each day, more than 50 passenger and freight trains approach CSX Corp.’s busy Acca Yard, where workers repair locomotives and reroute blocks of freight cars. Many trains slow to a crawl. Others come to a complete standstill, waiting their turn to enter the property.

    Acca Yard has helped turn Richmond into a rail choke point comparable to the highway congestion in the Washington, D.C., area. Last year, the yard ranked No. 1 in passenger slowdowns and was among the top five contributors to freight delays in the railroad’s north-south corridor, according to Jacksonville, Fla.-based CSX.

  8. Miketivist on said:

    We are in desperate need of more passenger rail in VA, both interstate and commuter.

    However, it would be nice if we expanded our freight rail to more than coal. Instead of clogging our streets with long-haul trucking to and from the ports, we should be reducing our highway traffic and cleaning our air with the more energy-efficient rail transport. Leave the trucking for last mile cargo.

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