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Virginia transportation agency to provide $84.4 million for rail improvement projects

Yesterday, Virginia’s Commonwealth Transportation Board approved $84.4 million in freight- and passenger-rail improvement funds to be allocated by the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) during the next three years.

DRPT will distribute $23.2 million, $18.3 million and $11.9 million for 12 projects in fiscal years 2006, 2007 and 2008, respectively.

The projects include:

• expanding the APM/Maersk Terminals rail yard;
• upgrading a Charlottesville connecting track;
• purchasing a 10.5-mile Norfolk Southern Railway line between Chesapeake and Suffolk for the Commonwealth Railway;
• clearing tunnels to accommodate double-stack trains in the Heartland Corridor and constructing an intermodal facility in Roanoke;
• improving the Commonwealth Railway connection between Crewe and Suffolk;
• replacing 13 switches in North Acca Yard;
• conducting a study to improve access to the Richmond Port, add four passenger stops at Main Street Station; and provide storage for passenger trains;
• clearing overhead impediments in CSX Transportation’s Portsmouth Subdivision to handle double-stack trains;
• constructing a connection track from the Portsmouth Subdivision to the Commonwealth Railway;
• conducting an environmental impact statement for the Southeast High Speed Rail Corridor between Main Street Station and Raleigh, N.C.;
• completing preliminary engineering for a Virginia Railway Express (VRE) project that includes constructing a third track between Powell’s Creek and Arkendale, and building a station at Cherry Hill; and
• conducting a feasibility to extend VRE service between Manassas and Haymarket.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 12/16/2005