It’s been more than 30 years since there has been passenger train service to Roanoke, but plans are underway to bring it back.
A new transit station is in the early planning stages. But a lot has changed since the hey day of passenger rail service in the Star City and a new station will have to bring many forms of transit together. A team from Virginia Tech will present design concepts for a new multi modal transit station to city and transit officials.
Trains, buses, bicycles, cars and more are being figured in to design concepts for the new transit station. Professor Ron Kemnitzer led four student teams from Virginia Tech’s School of Architecture and Design.
Ro “I think what you would see in all 4 of the solutions is a civic site. All of them are going to include landscaping, essentially a park, a public space where there can be performances, food trucks, children playing, so it’s going to seem like a beehive of activity.
Kemnitzer says the plans are being offered to officials as a kind of an inspiration for what a new transit center could be. Design teams focused not only on ways to bring many modes of transit together in a unified hub that connects to the entire east coast, but also on how the new facility can become a new heart
“I think it can be a facility, a space, a place people in Roanoke can be proud of. They can do down and watch the trains even if they’re not riding it, there can be plenty of things to do there. It’s more than just a stairway down to a train track it’s a place, where people can go and congregate and the agacentcy of all this transportation just makes it a more vibrant, energetic place to be.”
Two sites being considered for the new multi- modal transit center in Roanoke are First Street and Tenth Street near the railroad tracks. Passenger rail service is slated to return to Roanoke in 3 years.