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TRANSPORTATION: RAILROAD: PASSENGER : UNITED STATES: STATES: NORTH CAROLINA, VIRGINIA: Southeast Corridor Rail Milestone Advances Prospects for Faster Trains

David P. Dillard
 

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TRANSPORTATION: RAILROAD: PASSENGER :

UNITED STATES: STATES: NORTH CAROLINA, VIRGINIA:

Southeast Corridor Rail Milestone Advances Prospects for Faster Trains

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Southeast Corridor Rail Milestone Advances Prospects for Faster Trains

Environmental impact statement signed for Raleigh-to-Richmond railroad shortcut

$4 billion needed for the full plan to serve 110-mph trains

North Carolina and Virginia look for less speedy, less costly options

By Bruce Siceloff

September 17, 2015

The News and Observer

http://www.newsobserver.com/news/traffic/article35624061.html

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RALEIGH

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Environmental documents have been signed to advance a planned railroad shortcut between Raleigh and Richmond, state and federal officials said Thursday, boosting prospects for faster trains between Atlanta and Washington, D.C.

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North Carolina, Virginia and the Federal Railroad Administration approved the final environmental impact study for the Raleigh-to-Richmond leg of a rail route known as the Southeast Corridor.

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Without a strong passenger rail system, the Southeasts growth will be choked by congestion for a very long time, Anthony Foxx, the U.S. transportation secretary and former Charlotte mayor, said in a news release. I urge everyone involved to continue pushing this effort forward. High-speed rail in this region is not a luxury but a necessity.

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North Carolinas DOT has mapped a route for trains that would run as fast as 110 miles per hour between the two state capitals. It would cut 35 miles off the current Amtrak path, which curves through Selma and Rocky Mount, and trim an estimated 75 minutes from the travel time for trips from North Carolina to Washington and the Northeast.

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The plan calls for eliminating every level-grade rail crossing along the line closing some and building dozens of bridges to carry automobiles over or under the tracks. The route would follow the old CSX S line, which serves some freight customers in North Carolina but has been abandoned farther north and in southern Virginia. Curves in the track would be straightened to allow faster train speeds.

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The complete article may be read at the URL above.

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