Funded by $43-million from the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) and nearly $20 million from Norfolk Southern, the projects lengthened or built new passing tracks between Manassas, Va., and Front Royal, installed five miles of double track near the Virginia Inland Port, improved signal and traffic control systems and increased train speeds through Riverton Junction near Front Royal.
"The completion of these I-81 corridor improvements will benefit both freight and passenger rail service in Virginia," said DRPT Director Thelma Drake. "This capacity will attract more trucks from the highways to trains, as well as facilitate future passenger expansion in Northern Virginia."
"With these improvements, we can move more trains faster through Northern Virginia," said John Friedmann, Norfolk Southern vice president Strategic Planning. "This is a significant milestone in increasing the freight capacity of the Crescent Corridor in Virginia, and a prime example of a successful public-private partnership at work."
The Crescent Corridor initiative supports the Commonwealth's goals for improving freight transportation in Virginia while facilitating passenger improvements.
The Crescent Corridor consists of a program of improvements to infrastructure and other facilities geared toward creating a seamless, high-capacity Intermodal route spanning 11 states from New Jersey to Louisiana and offering truck-competitive service along several major interstate highway corridors, including I-81, I-85, I-20, I-40, I-59 and I-75. More than $2 billion in projects have been identified to improve freight rail service and reduce interstate highway congestion.