Virginia Planning Major Investment in Passenger Rail

Submitted by admin on Wed, 06/08/2016 - 12:21

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - June 08, 2016
Contact: Danny Plaugher at 804-864-5193

Richmond-Virginia’s Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) released their draft 2017-2022 Six-Year Improvement Plan (SYIP) which includes over $758 million in passenger rail projects. These funds are in addition to the $438 million worth of passenger rail projects that have been built over the last decade which has resulted in a 20% increase in passenger rail service. These improvements and additions of service benefit 76% of Virginians and have led to a 77% increase in ridership.

“This level of investment by the Commonwealth Transportation Board, the Governor, and the General Assembly is a game changer for Virginia” stated Robbyn Gayer, President of Virginians for High Speed Rail “The Commonwealth is a leader when it comes to investing in passenger rail and Virginians have shown that if we build it, they will ride it. This Six-Year Improvement Plan gets us one step closer to our goal of high speed rail which will keep Virginia competitive in the economy of tomorrow. We commend the Commonwealth Transportation Board for their work to advance intercity passenger rail.”

Northern Virginia – Richmond-Hampton Roads Corridor: $660 million

- Continued operation of Virginia’s five Richmond, Newport News, and Norfolk based Amtrak Regional Trains
-Improvements that will result in about a third of the NoVA to Richmond portion of the corridor being triple/quadruple tracked which will improve reliability and add much needed capacity
-200% increase in Amtrak Regional service to Petersburg, Norfolk, and Virginia Beach
-Construction of a new Newport News Multimodal Transportation Center
-Capacity improvements to Richmond’s ACCA train yard
-Expansion of parking facilities at Henrico’s Staples Mill Station

Northern Virginia-Charlottesville-Lynchburg-Roanoke Corridor: $92 million

-100% increase in Amtrak Regional service to Burke Centre, Manassas, Culpeper, Charlottesville, and Lynchburg
- Operation of Virginia’s Roanoke and Lynchburg based Amtrak Regional trains
-Extension of an Amtrak Regional train to Roanoke for the first time since the 1970’s
-Study for the extension of Amtrak Regional service to the New River Valley and Bedford

Quick Facts about Virginia’s Intercity Passenger Rail Network

-20 stations that serve 80% of Virginians, 84% of the state’s jobs, 84% of our higher education students, and 10% of our nation’s armed forces
-In 2015 Virginia’s Amtrak trains handled over 1.6 million trips which removed 186 million potential passenger miles from our roads, reduced fuel consumption by 6.1 million gallons, and eliminated the potential burning of 119.8 million pounds of CO2
-If higher speed rail had already been built along the NoVA-Richmond-Hampton Roads corridor, rail travelers in Virginia would have saved 793,900 hours in 2015

About Virginians for High Speed Rail: We are non-profit coalition of citizens, businesses, localities, and community groups that educate and advocate for the expansion of fast, frequent, and reliable intercity rail service. We were founded in 1994 as a partnership between the Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce and the Future of Hampton Roads. For more information please visit www.VHSR.com

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