Virginia Passenger Rail Authority
The Virginia Passenger Rail Authority (VPRA), established by Chapter 1230 of the 2020 Acts of Assembly, will be responsible for promoting, sustaining, and expanding the availability of passenger and commuter rail service in the Commonwealth.
Long Bridge Project
It is the most important project across all transportation modes currently in Virginia. Its completion has the potential to transform state-sponsored and commuter rail services throughout Virginia. Although this project is based in Northern Virginia, it will impact passenger rail service in every region of the state.
Arkendale to Powell's Creek
It provides for the design and construction of a third track along the heavily congested nine-mile stretch of CSX’s main line from Powell’s Creek to Arkendale in Northern Virginia. In 2010, the project received a $75 million grant from the federal High Speed Intercity Passenger Rail Program. Dedicated funding in the SYIP to complete the Arkendale project includes $16.5 million in IPROC funds. The third track segment will be used to meet, pass, and overtake trains to enhance the performance schedule for intercity passenger service, high speed passenger rail service, and Virginia Railway Express commuter service while preserving freight operations. This is a critical section of third track needed between Washington, D.C. and Fredericksburg.
Newport News Bland Boulevard Amtrak Station
This new location located at the intersection of Bland Boulevard and Interstate 64 will be more energy efficient and will allow the existing Amtrak trains to avoid entering a CSX coal yard for turning and servicing. DRPT has allocated $20.5 million of IPROC funds toward construction of a platform, servicing facility, and associated turning and storage facilities. The City of Newport News is funding approximately $20.5 million for the station and associated costs. This multimodal station will increase transportation options through new inter-city bus service with local connections including Hampton Roads Transit, shuttles to the airport, and taxi service. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2019 and will be completed by 2021.
Second Amtrak Frequency to Norfolk and Hampton Roads Schedule
As part of the initial agreement with Norfolk Southern to return Amtrak service to Norfolk in 2012, as well as the agreement with CSX to fund Acca Yard improvements, Amtrak will be bringing a second daily frequency to Norfolk beginning March 4, 2019. New service to Norfolk also includes an optimized schedule for the Newport News station as well. Norfolk now has two convenient morning options to get to Washington, and two evening options to return. Newport News riders can now also get to Washington by 9:20 AM, and get back home by 8:20 PM Monday through Friday. The new Newport News schedule also allows Richmond-Main Street station customers the same Washington arrival time, and back again by 7. Click here for more information on the new optimized Hampton Roads Amtrak services.
Amtrak Passenger Information Display Systems
The unstaffed Amtrak station in Ashland, VA has two main-line tracks on which north and south bound trains arrive. In order to determine which side of the tracks to stand on, passengers must wait until the trains are within sight and then migrate to the appropriate side. Furthermore, there is no way to notify passengers at the station of arrival times for trains in the event of delays. Currently, at the Richmond Main Street Station, passengers are notified of train arrival times and ushered to the platform by the station security guards who rely on the Amtrak mobile app for alerts, who then verbally announce arrival times. Installing Passenger Information Display Systems (PIDS) at Ashland and Richmond Main Street Stations will provide a safe, ADA-compliant method of arrival notifications, which will improve the overall customer experience. DRPT has allocated $1.23 million of IPROC funds for design and installation of these systems. Per the CTB approved station policy, the localities will fund the operation and maintenance of the PIDS
Brooke and Leeland Station Expansion Study, Design, & Construction
It will expand the length of the platforms and add a second platform edge to allow VRE trains to serve the stations on either track. Currently, there is only one platform at these stations, so trains must cross over to the adjacent track to make a station stop. This constrains capacity for Amtrak and CSX freight trains on the line.
Norfolk International Terminals Central Rail Yard Improvements
This project will lead to the construction of an intermodal rail yard within Norfolk International Terminals to increase the terminal's rail capacity. The proposed intermodal yard will be located in an area currently occupied by structurally deficient and functionally obsolete warehouses. The primary objective of this project is to increase NIT's rail capacity by improving rail-served market access to the terminal and capture a larger percent of cargo by rail.
Virginia International Gateway/Commonwealth Railway Marshalling Yard
It consists of developing additional on-dock rail capacity for the purpose of transferring containerized cargo between rail service and ship lines. Increased capacity will be achieved through the construction of new track and associated infrastructure configured to allow loading and unloading of containers by terminal container handling equipment. The primary objective of this project is to increase VIG's container throughput to approximately 40% of the full build-out capacity of the terminal. A marshalling yard expansion outside the terminal is also needed to accommodate the additional rail throughput.
Virginia Statewide Rail Plan
Virginia's rail network is a valuable asset for the Commonwealth. It provides an efficient means of moving freight and passengers both within and through the state. By diverting freight and passenger traffic from road to rail, Virginia's rail network relieves congestion, saves lives, improves air quality, helps grow the economy, and complements the Virginia highway network while reducing capital and maintenance expenditures.
DRPT is also a funding partner with nine shortline railroads on numerous smaller scale projects throughout the Commonwealth. To view those projects, please review DRPT's SYIP.