The growing issue of the potential expansion of train tracks for the DC2RVA Rail project being run through Ashland/Hanover is a terrible idea. The proposals have been slowly evolving as there is some public feedback given. The general gist of it is that they want to add a new train track or two through the area, for a commuter train to go between Richmond and Washington D.C.. The new track is suggested to either go through downtown Ashland along the existing rails, which would likely completely change the adorable and historic downtown of Ashland, or to go West around Ashland, which would slice and dice people’s farm land, homes, and section off properties potentially making them inaccessible and devalued.
Unfortunately the NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) aspect of human nature has been exploited to divide the people of the affected regions in Hanover County.
This is best shown by the bizarre nature of the website “Save Downtown Ashland”. This website is terrible. Apparently the Town of Ashland is happy to throw everyone potentially affected by the Western Bypass idea under the bus, or train in this case. If you take a look at the website you will quickly see how one sided the issue is presented, and how little information about the issue is given. If you want to have your voice heard by the folks in the various transportation boards, the website tailors you potential responses to fit their agenda. If you choose the option of writing your own email, it still auto fills your subject line with a pro Western Bypass message. This website is a super example of NIMBY behavior. The problem is, you don’t want to BE a super example of NIMBY behavior. Especially if you are interested in things like building healthy communities, good communication, and mutual respect.
The greater good of the people in Ashland AND Hanover is not supported by the train plans that have been proposed.