"A robust, effective transportation system is key to ensuring that Virginia can compete in a 21st Century economy," said Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe. "This means investing not only in road improvements, but also rail and mass transit, which is why today's groundbreaking is a critical part of my transportation agenda. The new Potomac Shores VRE station will be a vital link in the region's commuter rail network and it is a great example of the commonwealth working together with private partners."
Situated on the banks of the Potomac River in Prince William County, Potomac Shores is a waterfront community that is being designed by SunCal as a transit-oriented development (TOD) due to its convenient access to the on-site VRE station and a variety of planned transportation options. Located in the community's town center, the station will sit along a bluff-top promenade overlooking the Potomac River. Passengers will take an elevator or stairs down to the boarding platforms to catch northbound or southbound VRE trains on the tracks below.
"When our company acquired this property in 2011, one of our priorities was to create a TOD," said Eddie Byrne, vice president of project management for Potomac Shores.
Making the new rail stop possible was the Federal Railroad Administration's 2012 authorization of $74.8 million to build 11 miles of a third track from Stafford County to Prince William County, thereby reaching Potomac Shores. The state invested $15 million and SunCal is contributing $20 million towards the design and construction of the Potomac Shores station in this public-private partnership.
"Prince William county has been working closely with VRE, CSX and SunCal to bring this new rail station to our county," said Maureen Caddigan, Potomac district supervisor. "It's an ongoing effort that has taken many years and we are extremely pleased that the project has reached this major milestone toward becoming a reality."
VRE and CSX Transportation recently reached an agreement that permits the addition of the Potomac Shores station. The design and planning process for the new station is presently underway, with the design review by VRE, CSX and Prince William county expected to be completed by late 2015. After a bid is selected, the start of construction is anticipated to begin in the fourth quarter of 2015.