By Stephen Repetski, Editorial Board Alum, Greater Greater Washington; November 20, 2019
The state of Virginia and the District are planning to add another crossing to supplement the rail capacity of the 115-year-old Long Bridge and expand commuter, intercity, and freight rail service throughout the region. Addressing the Long Bridge bottleneck is vital to Amtrak and the Virginia Railway Express’s (VRE) ability to run more frequent trains and prepare for expected growth in ridership, as well as growth in freight throughout the eastern seaboard.
The Long Bridge is a two-track bridge which carries the only rail tracks between Virginia and DC other than Metrorail. No other rail bridge connects Virginia to DC or Maryland south of the Long Bridge, and the next connection point north is at Harpers Ferry. The bridge is a critical link in the east-coast rail network for both passenger and freight rail traffic.