I recently took a vacation that included a weekend trip to the Hampton Roads, Virginia area to do some sightseeing and visit family in the area. During my stay there, I was able to utilize the transit system in downtown Norfolk, including the city’s light rail line. I’m going to document my observations and experience in three separate posts. In this first installment, I will describe the transit system in Hampton Roads and how the system is similar, yet different from the transit system here in Tampa. Then, in my second installment, I’ll document my transit experience and what the Tampa area can grasp from my observations. Finally, in my third installment, I will point out various attractions and other points of interest that you can easily access via public transit.
I have two small updates for my fantasy subway project that I’m doing on Google Maps that revolves around the Hampton Roads, VA area. The first update consists of the addition of five tramway (light rail) lines throughout Norfolk, Virginia Beach, and Portsmouth. I will briefly go through where each of the lines travel to. You can view the map here.
Tramway 1 (T1) travels from Naval Station Norfolk, through downtown Norfolk, and towards Virginia Beach. A portion of this line comprises of the existing Tide Light Rail line.
Tramway 2 (T2) travels from downtown Norfolk towards Suffolk via Chesapeake.
Tramway 3 (T3) is a semi-loop line that travels from Portsmouth through the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Oakleaf Forest, Fairmont Park, and into Naval Station Norfolk from the east.
Tramway 4 (T4) runs from Portsmouth into Suffolk. An extension is planned to go into downtown Norfolk, but it has been a challenge. ~ In reality, it would be a challenge connecting Portsmouth to Norfolk via LRT due to the Elizabeth River being quite large. I have to ask myself if a new tunnel would have to be built.
Tramway 5 (T5) connects the Lynhaven Bay area to downtown Norfolk via the airport.
I will likely make more changes to the LRT lines later. I now realize that T5 could really be a part of T3, but I’m not sure whether to merge the lines. And you may notice how I number each of the LRT lines. The naming/numbering convention used is similar to how the LRT lines are numbered in Paris, France.
My second update is a stand-alone map of the Line 7A subway. Since it is the smallest subway line, I thought I would make an individual line map of Line 7A first. Line 7A basically runs along the beltway that partially surrounds Suffolk. Originally, it was part of Line 7 when it terminated at Holland Rd. However, when Line 7 was extended towards the outer fringe town of Courtland, a bypass tunnel was built along Holland Rd to facilitate quicker service into Norfolk. Thus, the original beltway line was made independent. You can view a map of Line 7A here.
I want to stress that these are just fantasy systems, just like the Mushroom Kingdom transit system. There are actual efforts to try and extend the existing LRT line in Norfolk towards Naval Station Norfolk, as well as Virginia Beach and Portsmouth. However, I am not sure if the proposed extensions will ever make it out of the planning books. It sure would be nice to have a neat network of light rail lines, as well as BRT lines throughout Hampton Roads.
If you want to share any comments, or have questions, feel free to drop me a line via the Contact page.