While at Alexandria’s Amtrak/Virginia Railway Express (VRE) station Tuesday, Governor Ralph Northam announced an agreement between Amtrak, CSX, and Virginia Railway Express for a $3.7 billion investment to expand and improve passenger, commuter, and freight rail in Virginia.
“We have an unprecedented opportunity to build a 21st century rail system in Virginia and along the entire East Coast,” said Northam. “This historic initiative will help get people and goods where they need to go more efficiently, reduce congestion and pollution, and create a more inclusive economy. Together with our partners at Amtrak, CSX, and VRE, we are making critical investments that will fundamentally transform our transportation infrastructure, delivering long-term economic benefits for our workers and communities as we rebound from the pandemic and into the future.”
Details of the planned investment include:
- Double Virginia-supported Amtrak trains providing nearly hourly service;
- Increase VRE commuter service by 60 percent;
- Lay the foundation for a Southeast High Speed Rail Corridor;
- Preserve an existing freight corridor between Doswell and Clifton Forge for future east-west passenger service; and
- Create the potential to expand rail to all parts of the Commonwealth.
- Building another bridge from Virginia to D.C. over the Potomac. There is currently only one bridge.
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg also joined the event Tuesday. “As President Biden has said—help is here. The American Rescue Plan is providing more than $43.2 billion to support our nation’s transportation needs and our workers during the pandemic,” said Buttigieg. “The plan is helping Amtrak bring back more than 1,200 furloughed employees and restore service to 12 routes. And more broadly, this funding will help transportation providers across the nation avoid layoffs and help support workers who have been on the front lines delivering vaccines, getting people to essential jobs, and getting essential goods to wherever they need to go.”