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Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has signed new legislation that will create a rail authority in the New River Valley (NRV).
The legislation, HB 1893, "authorizes the creation of a regional passenger-rail station authority in Planning District 4 to assist in the creation and maintenance of passenger rail in the region."
The authority would be authorized to enter into revenue sharing agreements and to issue revenue bonds. The bill also says the authority would be governed by a board consisting of members of each participating locality and institution of higher education. The bill is identical to SB 1212.
Valley officials have been working for more than six years to bring a passenger rail to the area, WDBJ7 reported last week.
The legislation will allow the NRV to form an authority, according to Larry Hincker, a spokesperson for the New River Valley Passenger Rail Initiative.
Hincker said the NRV does not have a municipal organization large enough in the area to run a platform, so the authority is necessary.