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The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) plans to conduct a study to develop a "shared, workable vision" for a passenger-rail network in the southeastern United States, according to a press release from the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT).The study was awarded in response to a statement of interest that NCDOT submitted to the FRA on behalf of the District of Columbia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida, NCDOT officials said.The FRA will work with a consultant team to conduct the study and will seek input from several stakeholders, including state departments of transportation, chambers of commerce, Class I railroads, short lines and others.U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx last month said that developing passenger-rail networks in fast-growing regions was a necessity. This includes developing a system that connects Washington, D.C.; Richmond, Va.; Charlotte; Raleigh; and Atlanta, Foxx said."These are cities that — like their Northeast Corridor counterparts — are business and population centers between which people need a travel option beyond crowded highways and airplanes," Foxx said at the time.
[Editor's note: This story was updated after its initial posting.]