ASHLAND, Va. (WRIC) — A proposed train station in Ashland is under fire, mostly because of where the state wants to put it.
State officials want to put a new platform not too far from the town’s current station. The problem is, it would sit directly on top of Randolph-Macon College’s campus.
The clickety-clack of trains is part of the rhythm of life for Ashland residents, but the state’s interest in replacing the town’s quaint train station with a massive cement platform that would essentially split R-MC’s campus in half.
“Any visitor to this campus, their lasting impression would be that’s the campus with the railway station stuck I the middle of it,” Randolph-Macon College President Robert Lindgren told 8News Reporter Kristin Smith. “They won’t remember what it is today.”
In addition to cutting the campus in half, Lindgren said the structure would also cut land from the college that is already set aside for student housing, as shown in the below rendering.
Lindgren said the plans simply don’t fit on R-MC’s small, charming campus.
“This permanent cement structure going three football fields down to accommodate those few trains, that doesn’t make sense,” he said.
The university said it intends to fight the proposal. Because it is a state transportation project – should push come to shove – the state could take the land from the college by eminent domain. Lindgren said he hopes it doesn’t come to that.