FRA Green-Lights DC2RVA ProjectWritten by Andrew Corselli
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), in cooperation with the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT), announced that the Record of Decision (ROD) for the Washington, D.C., to Richmond Southeast Higher Speed Rail Project (DC2RVA) has been signed, completing the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) study process and making the project eligible to receive additional federal funding to advance project planning.
In 2014, DRPT was awarded a $44 million federal grant, funding nearly 80% of EIS study costs. Additional investments from the Commonwealth of Virginia and CSX enabled DRPT to also complete preliminary engineering and 30% design of the 123-mile, CSX-owned and -operated rail corridor running between Chesterfield County and the approach to the Long Bridge over the Potomac River in Arlington County.
The aim for DC2RVA is to increase rail capacity to deliver additional and more reliable passenger and commuter rail parallel to the heavily congested I-95 corridor. Upon completion, the project hopes “to bridge the growing mega-regions of the Northeast and Southeast United States. Another benefit of DC2RVA’s design accommodates future freight rail growth opportunities at the Port of Virginia in Norfolk, already the most rail-connected seaport on the Atlantic Coast.”
“DC2RVA is a critical element of our vision to move more people through the entire I-95 corridor by providing safe, reliable multi-modal travel opportunities for our citizens,” said Shannon Valentine, Virginia Secretary of Transportation. “I thank our partners at the FRA and CSX for their dedicated support and shared vision for the future of rail in Virginia.”
“DC2RVA includes a long-term vision for transforming the future of rail in Virginia for generations to come,” said Jennifer Mitchell, DRPT Director. “Now that environmental clearance is complete, construction of additional rail capacity in the Northern Virginia region can begin.”
For more information on the DC2RVA Rail Project and its related documents, visit www.dc2rvarail.com.