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Lynchburg – Kemper Street Station

Lynchburg-Kemper Street Station
Nightime view from station platform
Location 825 Kemper St.
Lynchburg, Virginia 24501
 United States
Coordinates
Owned by City of Lynchburg
Line(s)
  Crescent
Platforms 1 island platform
Tracks 3
Connections Intercity Bus Greyhound
Local Transit GLTC
Construction
Parking Available
Disabled access Yes
Other information
Station code LYH
History
Opened 1912
Rebuilt 2002
Traffic
Passengers (FY2014) 29,104 annually[1] 7.54% (Amtrak)
Services
Preceding station   Amtrak   Following station
toward New Orleans
Crescent
toward New York City
Terminus Northeast Regional
  Proposed service  
Preceding station   Transdominion Express   Following station
toward Bristol
Richmond-Bristol Line
toward Richmond
toward Bristol
Washington-Bristol Line

Lynchburg-Kemper Street Station is a passenger rail and bus station located at 825 Kemper Street in the city of Lynchburg, in the U.S. Commonwealth of Virginia. The facility currently houses the local operations for intercity transportation vendors Amtrak and Greyhound Lines, providing transit to most east coast cities such as Washington DC, New York City and Atlanta.

Contents

  • History 1
    • Restoration 1.1
  • Services 2
    • Rail 2.1
    • Bus 2.2
    • Future service 2.3
  • References 3
  • External links 4

History

Kemper Street Station was built in 1912 by the Southern Railway to house their passenger and freight operations in the Lynchburg area. A three-story structure built into a hillside, the top floor fronts Kemper Street while on the opposite side the track level ground floor fronts the rail platforms. Originally included but later removed was an elevated walkway extending from a street level passenger lobby across the tracks. Stairs descended from the walkway to the platforms, two stories below. A freight depot was located in the ground floor. As it was not the city's only railway facility,[2] the "Kemper Street" name was used to clearly identify it among Lynchburg's other train stations. Over many decades to follow, the station was a stop for Southern Railway passenger trains. When Southern Railway discontinued passenger services in 1979, the operation of their passenger routes and stations, including Kemper Street Station, was relinquished to Amtrak.

Restoration

After years of continued use and neglect the signs of disrepair at the station were becoming increasingly apparent. The Lynchburg City Council determined that renovations would be necessary to save the city-owned facility and ensure its future use. They spearheaded a redevelopment project budgeted at over $3 million, funding for which was provided by the city, commonwealth, and federal government sources including Amtrak. Extensive work began in 2000 to update the facility, but with an emphasis on maintaining period lighting and finishes, and preserving the station's historic character.

In April, 2002, the city of Lynchburg celebrated the opening of the newly restored Kemper Street Station. The restoration allowed the facility to take on the new role of intermodal station, housing both rail and bus services. Amtrak operations were moved to the ground-floor platform level, left vacant since the station no longer serviced freight trains. This allowed for Greyhound Lines to establish a bus terminal in the vacated street-level passenger facility, thus centralizing Lynchburg's primary services for intercity passenger travel under one roof.

The restored station features brick construction with arched windows and accents of painted metal. An arched sign over Kemper Street near Park Avenue reads "Kemper Street Station".[3] Of note are the numerous lights which illuminate the station's exterior. These are of particular importance to the station since most of the trains serving Lynchburg are scheduled either late in the evening or in the early morning, often before sunrise.[4]

Services

Ground floor Amtrak Station entry

Rail

The year 2012 marked the 100 year anniversary of passenger train service at Lynchburg-Kemper Street Station. Today, as the only passenger train station still operating in Lynchburg, it is serviced by four Amtrak trains daily. The rail line upon which the station is situated belongs to Southern Railway's corporate descendant, Norfolk Southern Railway, which owns both the track and the adjacent platforms.

Amtrak's Crescent is a long-distance, overnight service operating daily between New York City and New Orleans, LA. The Crescent stops at Lynchburg-Kemper Street Station on its northbound and southbound runs.[5] This train had previously serviced Lynchburg during the old Southern Railway days, when it was known as the Southern Crescent. For many years, the Crescent was the only passenger train serving Lynchburg.

October, 2009 saw the introduction of Northeast Regional daily round-trip service between Lynchburg and Boston, MA. The route to Lynchburg was extended from its previous southern terminus in Washington, DC. This extension is operated through a partnership between Amtrak and the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation, under the guise of Amtrak Virginia.[6]

Amtrak's station code for Lynchburg is LYH. The station features restrooms, an enclosed waiting area, and a ticket office staffed by Amtrak personnel according to the station's schedule. Services from this location include checked baggage assistance and a Quik-Trak ticketing kiosk.[7]

Greyhound Terminal along Kemper Street

Bus

Greyhound Lines supplies intercity bus service from its street level passenger terminal at Lynchburg-Kemper Street Station. Street level access is located along Kemper Street on the side of the station facing away from the railway platform, which is two stories below at the bottom of the hillside. The company also offers their "Greyhound PackageXpress" shipping service from the Kemper Street terminal.[8]

Valley Metro operates the Smart Way Connector bus service to serve as a bus-to-rail connection between Lynchburg-Kemper Street Station and both the Roanoke and New River Valleys.[9] Providing two daily round trips, service commenced on July 19, 2011, and is being undertaken to serve in part to gauge support for a potential Amtrak extension to Roanoke.[10]

Connections for local buses operated by the Greater Lynchburg Transit Company (GLTC) are available at street level GLTC bus stops adjacent to Lynchburg-Kemper Street Station.[11]

Future service

Amtrak Virginia, the partnership between Amtrak and the Commonwealth of Virginia which is sponsoring the Northeast Regional service extension to Lynchburg, is a pilot program with funding allocated for three years. The status of the Northeast Regional extension after three years will depend upon the identification of a dedicated funding source.[12]

Lynchburg-Kemper Street Station will be a transfer hub for the TransDominion Express if plans for the proposed passenger rail project in Virginia come to fruition. TransDominion Express, or TDX, would link areas like Bristol and Roanoke in the west of the state with areas in the east like Richmond, as well as Charlottesville and Washington, D.C. to the north.[13] The plan has been under consideration for more than a decade.[14]

The Greater Lynchburg Transit Company has selected the immediate area of Kemper Street Station as its top choice of sites upon which to build the new transfer center for their network of public buses. Specifically, they are interested in a property directly across Kemper Street from the station, which would provide the greatest ease of intermodal connections between GLTC buses and Amtrak or Greyhound services. The project is awaiting final government approval and funding, and is expected to be completed around 2013.[15]

References

  1. ^ "Amtrak Fact Sheet, FY2014, Commonwealth of Virginia" (PDF).  
  2. ^ "Timeline of Lynchburg Area History". .City of Lynchburg Retrieved April 14, 2010.
  3. ^ "Park Ave / Kemper St, Lynchburg, VA, United States". .Google Maps Retrieved April 14, 2010.
  4. ^ "Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Virginia Service". .Amtrak Retrieved April 14, 2010.
  5. ^ "Lynchburg Brochure". .Amtrak Virginia Retrieved February 4, 2010.
  6. ^ Service", News Release, August 31, 2009.Northeast Regional"Amtrak Virginia Presents New Amtrak. Retrieved February 5, 2010.
  7. ^ "Lynchburg, VA (LYH)". Amtrak. Retrieved April 14, 2010.
  8. ^ "Lynchburg, Virginia". .Greyhound Lines Retrieved February 4, 2010.
  9. ^ Valley Metro. "What is the Smart Way Connector?" (PDF). Retrieved August 13, 2011. 
  10. ^ Burl, Rolett (July 20, 2011). "Shuttle connecting Roanoke to Lynchburg Amtrak station starts". The Roanoke Times. 
  11. ^ "Park Ave/Kemper St". .Google Maps Retrieved February 4, 2010.
  12. ^ "Fact Sheet", September 2009. .Amtrak Virginia Retrieved February 4, 2010.
  13. ^ "Route Map". TransDominion Express. Retrieved February 4, 2010.
  14. ^ "Rail Service Is the Future of Transportation", (March 17, 2010). The News & Advance, Lynchburg, VA. Retrieved April 14, 2010.
  15. ^ Petska, Alicia. (February 3, 2010). "GLTC favors Kemper Street site for transfer station", The News and Advance, Lynchburg, VA. Retrieved February 4, 2010.

External links

  • Amtrak – Stations – Lynchburg, VA
  • Lynchburg (LYH) Great American Stations (Amtrak)
  • Lynchburg Amtrak Station (USA RailGuide -- TrainWeb)
  • Lynchburg, Virginia (Greyhound Lines)
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