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Virginia Railway Express awarded $20 million in grant funds

About $18.8 million will go toward the construction of a new Virginia Railway Express station in Crystal City, while $1.5 million will pay for the reinstatement and subsidization of the Amtrak Step-Up program.
Photo – Virginia Railway Express


The Northern Virginia Transportation Commission (NVTC) and the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission (PRTC) last week voted to provide the Virginia Railway Express (VRE) with $20 million in grant funding for two projects.

About $18.8 million will pay for the construction of a new VRE station in Crystal City, while the remaining $1.5 million will support reinstatement of the Amtrak Step-Up program, VRE officials said in a press release.

The grant will support an expansion and relocation of the existing Crystal City station and platform to enable simultaneous boarding of two trains and accommodate full-length trains. The project also will prepare the station for a planned fourth track.

The dollars fill in the remaining funding commitments needed for the new station, VRE officials said. The $50 million project is currently in the final design phase, with construction scheduled to begin in August 2024.

The Step-Up program enables VRE multiride ticketholders to ride select Amtrak trains for an additional charge. The funds also will subsidize the cost of Step-Up tickets on VRE's Fredericksburg Line.

The grant money comes from the state's I-395/95 Commuter Choice Program, which invests toll revenue from northern Virginia expressways into transit and multimodal projects benefiting those toll road users, according to NVTC's website.