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Parking Lot May Be Holding Amtrak Back - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Parking Lot May Be Holding Amtrak Back

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The lot's poor shape could prevent new rail service from coming to Charlottesville. The lot's poor shape could prevent new rail service from coming to Charlottesville.

Ongoing problems with the parking lot at Charlottesville's Amtrak station could put the brakes on plans to bring new rail service to town.

The gravel parking lot that sits next to the West Main Street station in Charlottesville is once again a topic of debate. At least one advocate for bringing new rail service to Charlottesville says the parking lot's poor shape could keep Amtrak from bringing any new routes through Charlottesville.

At Thursday's quarterly planning and coordination council meeting between Charlottesville, Albemarle County, and the University of Virginia, CvilleRail founder and chairman Meredith Richards with told policy makers that something needs to be done about that unpaved lot.

"The condition of the parking lot at the West Main Street station has caught the attention of the State Rail Department and Amtrak, and they are concerned about its potential to disrupt their plans to extend the Cardinal service seven days a week," she said.

Richards says that in order to provide new services, Amtrak has to submit a proposal to Congress and identify pros and cons. She says that gravel parking lot would be a definite con.

Although the Amtrak service is government-supported, the actual station is privately owned so unless the owners get around to paving it themselves, the city or anyone else really can not do much about it.

Reported by Derick Waller
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