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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Virginia submits first high speed rail project application

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Virginia has submitted its first high speed rail application for the Arkendale to Powell's Creek project along the I-95 High Speed Rail Corridor, local media report. The project, with a construction cost of $74.8 million, would build 11.4 miles of third track in Stafford and Prince William Counties.

"The Federal Railroad Administration set very specific criteria for states to compete for this first round of historic federal investment in high speed rail,' Governor Timothy Kaine said. "Virginia has submitted a strong project application and we are ready to begin construction as soon the federal funding is awarded. This project represents our on-going commitment to delivering transportation choices, creating jobs, and sustaining our environment even when funding is limited."

The Commonwealth worked in conjunction with partners CSX Transportation, Amtrak and Virginia Railway Express to complete the project application. This project will improve on-time travel reliability, reduce freight and passenger rail conflicts and help Virginia achieve 90 mph intercity passenger rail service.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provided $8 billion in competitive funding for high-speed rail corridors around the country. The recent application deadline was for "ready to go' projects that were fully supported by the freight railroad who own the track (CSXT) and the service provider (Amtrak). In early October, Virginia will compete for the second round of federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for a program of projects that extend from Washington, D.C., to Petersburg, Va., as well as into Hampton Roads.