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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Virginia Beach purchases NS right of way for future line


The city of Virginia Beach, Va., recently signed an agreement with Norfolk Southern Corp. to acquire right of way that's being studied as a possible light-rail route from Norfolk to the Virginia Beach resort area.

The 10.6-mile rail line, which no longer is in service, runs from the Norfolk city line to Birdneck Road, parallel to Interstate 264. Under the agreement, the city will commit $10 million toward the right-of-way purchase, while the commonwealth of Virginia and Hampton Roads Transit will provide $20 million and $5 million, respectively. NS will retain an easement for the Dominion Resource transmission line that runs along the right of way, though the city has a three-year option to buy the easement for $5 million.

Hampton Roads Transit currently is building a 7.4-mile light-rail line in Norfolk. Nicknamed "The Tide," the 11-station line will run from the Eastern Virginia Medical Center through downtown along a corridor paralleling Interstate 264. Construction is scheduled to be complete in 2010.

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More News from 3/13/2009