The U.S. Department of Transportation awarded more than $74.8 million to the Commonwealth of Virginia to continue development of the Southeast High-Speed Rail Corridor. The funding will help improve passenger and freight rail service between Virginia and Washington, D.C., and reduce delays on the Virginia Rail Express (VRE) commuter service.
“The Southeast High-Speed Rail Corridor between Charlotte and Washington, D.C., serves one of the fastest growing regions in the country, which is why it is critical to eliminate congestion points so that intercity passenger, freight and commuter rail can all run smoothly without delays,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
The project will build up to 11 miles of third track and related improvements from Arkendale in Stafford County to Powell’s Creek in Prince William County, Va. The third track will provide the capacity needed for higher speed trains on the Southeast Corridor to operate without conflict from freight and commuter trains. On a daily basis, 40-50 freight trains, 10 Amtrak trains and 14 VRE trains operate over this segment and the addition of a third track will allow for traffic to flow unimpeded. In addition to adding a third track, the project includes final design and improvements to the station at the Quantico Marine Base in Quantico, Va.
When completed, the corridor will have at least eight high-speed trains traveling at 110 mph between Charlotte, N.C., and Washington D.C. Travel time between Charlotte and Washington, D.C., will be reduced by up to three hours and travel time between Richmond and Washington, D.C., will be reduced by 35 minutes.