Virginia Receives Green Light From Federal Railroad Administration to Advance the DC2RVA Rail Project

A press release from the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation; September 10, 2019:

Richmond – The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), in cooperation with the 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, also known as 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.

“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.”

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 vision for DC2RVA is to increase rail capacity in order to deliver additional and more reliable passenger and commuter rail parallel to the heavily congested I-95 corridor. Upon completion, the project will bridge the growing megaregions 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 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.”

While working with over 90 agencies, local governments, and community groups, as well as conducting 23 public meetings over the last 6 years, DRPT received extensive public comment and participation throughout the DC2RVA study process. The ROD contains final commitments from DRPT regarding all future efforts to mitigate impacts to cultural resources and historic properties along the project corridor.

For more information on the DC2RVA Rail Project and to view the full ROD and related documents, visit www.dc2rvarail.com.

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About the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation DRPT’s mission is to improve the mobility of people and goods while expanding transportation choices in the Commonwealth through rail, public transportation, and commuter services. DRPT is committed to ensuring that no person is excluded from participation in, or denied the benefits of its services on the basis of race, color, or national origin as protected by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. For special assistance for persons with disabilities or to request interpretive services, please contact DRPT at 804-786-4440 (TTY users call 711), 600 E. Main Street, Suite 2102, Richmond, VA 23219 or email us at drptpr@drpt.virginia.gov.