Letter: Fairfax Should Promote Burke Centre as its Amtrak Green Rail Gateway

Letter: Fairfax Should Promote Burke Centre as its Amtrak Green Rail Gateway

To the Editor

To the Editor:

Fairfax County should promote Burke Centre as its Amtrak Green Rail Gateway.

Popularity: After 40 years, on Oct 1, 2009, intercity passenger service returned, and the station became Virginia’s fastest growing station (379 percent increase).

No promotion: Despite this stellar performance, Fairfax County has spent nothing in promotion.

Potential: This station has tremendous growth potential: affluent residents; U.S.’s worst traffic; 700 available free parking spaces; connecting VRE and bus service; and excellent access roads.

Fairfax County should promote its station by asking state rail officials to invest in an Information Kiosk and Overhead Platform Sign; Amtrak for free signs; VDOT to attach these signs along Fairfax and Franconia Parkways and to I-66 and I-95 exit signs; and Amtrak to run ads in its “Arrive Magazine,” extolling riders to access Greater Fairfax County attractions.

Fairfax County’s Economic Development Authority CEO, Dr. Gerald L. Gordon, argued (Roanoke Times, Mar 2, 2014) that “Virginia can ride the rails to economic progress” and that governments should invest in Metro’s Silver Line and Amtrak’s Lynchburg Train.

Burke Centre Station has a connection to both the Silver Line by bus and to the Northeast Region by Amtrak. Fairfax needs to invest in its Green Rail Gateway now.

Dan Peacock, Member

Virginia Association of Railway Patrons (VARP)