Rail History


· 1992: The US Department of Transportation (USDOT) designated five high speed rail corridors including the Southeast High Speed Rail Corridor which extends from Washington, D.C. to Richmond, Virginia to North Carolina and Georgia.

· 1992: The Virginia Railway Express, Virginia's first commuter rail service, launches between Manassas and Fredericksburg to Washington, D.C.


· 1994: Virginians for High Speed Rail is founded by Richard Beadles; James Ukrop, chairman of the Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce; and Brad Face, President of the Future of Hampton Roads.

· 1995: USDOT and Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) extended the Southeast High Speed Rail Corridor to Hampton Roads along with other modifications.



· 2000: VHSR hosts the first Southeast High Speed Rail Conference which generates the idea for a Virginia-North Carolina interstate high speed rail compact.

· 2001: Gov. Jim Gilmore dedicates $65 million towards improving rail service along the Washington-Richmond corridor.

· 2004: Formal creation of the Virginia-North Carolina Interstate High-Speed Rail Compact chaired by Virginia Senator John Watkins.

· 2004: Gov. Mark Warner convenes a Commission on Rail Enhancement in the 21st Century.

MRW Announces Rail Commission

· 2005: Creation of the Virginia Rail Enhancement Fund (REF) and Virginia Rail Advisory Board (since eliminated).

· 2008: Passage of the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act (PRIIA) creating the federal high speed rail program.

· 2008: Amtrak exceeds 1 million passengers in Virginia.


· Passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) which included $8 billion in federal funding for high speed rail.
· Gov. Tim Kaine launches Virginia’s first state sponsored Amtrak Regional train between Lynchburg and Washington, D.C.

TK Cutting Ribbion for Lburg Regional


· FY 2011 federal transportation budget which includes $2.1 billion for high speed intercity passenger rail passes Congress.


· Virginia launches its second state sponsored Amtrak Regional train between Richmond and Washington, D.C.
· Virginia invests $116 million to extend Amtrak Regional service to Norfolk.
· Southeast High Speed Rail Association & VHSR hosted the 10th Anniversary Southeast High Speed Rail Conference.


· The Virginia General Assembly creates the Virginia Intercity Passenger Rail Operation and Capital Fund (IPROC).
· Virginia is obligated a $44.3 million federal grant to complete the project design of the DC-Richmond corridor.
· North Carolina receives a $4 million federal grant to complete the project design of the Richmond-Raleigh corridor.
· Virginia Railway Express exceeds 20,000 daily passengers.


· Gov. McDonnell & the General Assembly dedicate $54.8 million to capitalize IPROC.
· Virginia receives a $74.8 million federal high speed rail grant to improve 11.4 miles of the Washington-Richmond corridor.
· The Virginia Regional train from Richmond is extended to Norfolk. The first passenger rail service to Norfolk since 1977.
· The Tier 1 environmental impact statement for the Richmond-Hampton Roads high speed rail corridor is completed.


· Gov. McDonnell and the General Assembly secured $257 million for IPROC over 5 years as part of the 2013 Transportation Plan (HB 2313). 

Gov McD signing HB2313

· Virginia Amtrak Regional ridership grows 100 percent over the last five years.


· Ground broken on the new Roanoke Amtrak Service extension.

TM breaks ground on Roanoke

· The federal study for the Washington to Richmond portion of Southeast High Speed Rail Corridor is started.


· Greater Petersburg Tri-cities passenger rail study is launched.
· Virginia adopted a statewide six-year improvement plan that invests over $497 million in Virginia’s intercity rail network.
· US Secretary Anthony Foxx announces a $1 million planning grant to help the Southeast advance high speed rail at VHSR’s 2015 Annual Luncheon.


· Passage of the federal comprehensive transportation bill the FAST Act which authorized $10.2 billion for intercity passenger rail over 5 years. It also included a rail title as part of federal surface transportation bill for the first time.

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