A regional transportation board voted to support a rail company initiative to significantly expand freight capacity in the busy Washington train corridor, according to The Washington Post. The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments' Transportation Policy Board approved a letter supporting federal grant applications to help pay for $160 million in freight network improvements for rail giant CSX Transportation. The board plays a key role in setting regional transportation policy.
The rail line has
identified 13 projects in Maryland, the District and Virginia that would clear
obstructions that prevent the company from running double-stack train cars.
Some members of the board
complained that CSXT, which along with Amtrak owns most of the track used by
regional commuter lines, has made passenger rail service a low priority. The
board voted to toughen language in its letter that sought to tie CSXT to
commitments it made to the board to allocate more slots for passenger trains. A
CSXT spokesman said improvements to the freight network would raise efficiency
throughout the system, including passenger train service.