Virginia's Rail Expansion Plan
Virginia has finalized an agreement with CSX, Amtrak and the Virginia Railway Express (VRE) for a ten year, $3.7 billion expansion of the state’s commuter, freight and passenger rail network. The project will double the amount of Virginia’s Amtrak service, increase VRE service by 75 percent along the I-95 corridor and lay the foundation for Southeast High Speed Rail.
The investment includes a $944 million commitment from Amtrak, that will fund about 30% of the expansion. The remaining funds will come via local, state and federal funding sources.
The plan includes using $525 million to acquire 386 miles of ROW and 225 miles of track from CSX to support expanded passenger rail service. This will help separate passenger and freight operations which will allow for additional frequencies and better on-time performance for Amtrak and VRE.
Amtrak service between Richmond and Washington DC will be increased to hourly service and VRE commuter rail will implement 15 minute frequencies along the I-95 corridor and for the first time, weekend service. The plan also sets the groundwork for Southeast High Speed Rail with the acquisition of the abandoned S-Line, that runs from Petersburg into North Carolina.