Virginia State Rail Plan
The Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008 (PRIIA) tasks states with producing a State Rail Plan to establish policy, priorities and implementation strategies for freight and passenger rail transportation within its boundaries, enhance rail service in the public interest, and serve as the basis for Federal and State rail investments within the state. PRIIA requires State Rail Plans be submitted to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) for review and approval, and be consistent with transportation planning efforts at the state level. Therefore, the Virginia Department Rail and Public of Transportation (DRPT), under the request of Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB), is working to develop a new State Rail Plan (SRP) for 2017.
The SRP will include both a short-term and long term planning horizon; preferably 4 and 20 years respectively, in accordance with FRA guidance. The SRP will be not only a document which conforms to the FRA requirements for state rail plans, but also serves as a unifying vision for advancing passenger and freight rail initiatives in the Commonwealth. The plan will be innovative and creatively structured, and highlight the advantages of investing in the rail network, specifically the return on investment, for maximum impact and influence. In addition, digital and print multimedia should accompany the plan to make it more accessible to the general public.
DRPT will consult and coordinate with various industry stakeholders including freight and passenger rail owners and operators, governmental and non-governmental entities (including municipalities and regional planning organizations), the general public, elected officials and interest groups, in order to produce a long-range strategic rail plan that fosters growth throughout the State’s rail network. The final product will be a document that DRPT and the Commonwealth of Virginia will utilize to be the catalyst for economic development initiatives based on specific local/regional opportunities and advantages, spur economic activity, generate environmental benefits, and prioritize numerous advancements in the State’s rail transportation network.