DRPT plays an active role in statewide rail planning for both passenger and freight service. As the designated state agency to coordinate federal rail planning efforts in Virginia, DRPT is involved in several planning initiatives to improve the movement of passengers and goods by rail in the Commonwealth.
Efforts are currently underway to update the Virginia State Rail Plan. The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) requires that states update their rail plans at least every five years to be eligible for federal rail funding. The last State Rail Plan was completed in 2013.
DRPT has been coordinating planning efforts for the Southeast High Speed Rail (SEHSR) corridor project. Established in 1992 as one of the five original national high speed rail corridors by the USDOT, the SEHSR corridor aims to provide faster and more reliable rail service between Washington, D.C., Richmond, North Carolina and points south. The corridor has been broken down into several segments which have federal National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) studies advancing on different timelines based on need. Such studies are required by the federal government as a condition to receive federal funds for transportation projects.
High Speed Rail Planning Studies
Rail Station and Service Expansion Planning Guidelines
DRPT works with the FRA, freight railroads, and other state and local officials when conducting rail plans for localities that wish to initiate passenger rail service. DRPT is occasionally asked by members of the Virginia General Assembly or the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) to conduct studies for passenger rail feasibility. Below is a list of completed studies, as well as links to external planning standards for new passenger rail service for Amtrak, FRA, CSX and Norfolk Southern.
DRPT-Led Passenger Rail Feasibility Studies
Rail Planning Standards