Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Virginia/N.C. reps meet to advance HSR

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Virginia and North Carolina officials pursuing high speed rail development were scheduled to meet in Washington, D.C. Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, to advance HSR between the nation's capital and Charlotte, N.C.

The proposed Southeast High Speed Rail Project (SEHSR) would develop HSR even further south, terminating in Atlanta. Georgia's Department of Transportation (GDOT), on behalf of the Federal Railroad Administration, is leading that portion of the study examining the route between Atlanta and Charlotte.

The primary focus of the meeting of Virginia and North Carolina officials is to identify and pursue federal funding for the project in order to develop HSR. Virginia received about $75 million in federal funding for SEHSR in 2012. Participants are members of each state's legislature.

SEHSR would link with Amtrak's Northeast Corridor (NEC) in Washington – by some modest measures an existing U.S. high speed rail route. As an intermim measure, Virginia has provided state funding for extensions of Amtrak Northeast Regional service south of Washington to points in Virginia, including Norfolk in the southeast Tidewater region and Lynchburg, located in the Appalachian Mountains.