Public meeting on high speed rail tonight

November 12, 2014

Source: Stafford County Sun, Stafford

A public meeting regarding high speed rail between Washington, D.C. and Richmond will be held from 5-7:30 on Wednesday, Nov. 12 at the National Museum of the Marine Corps, 18900 Jefferson Davis Highway in Triangle. A presentation will be held at 6 p.m. in which general information regarding the purpose and scope of the project will be stated.

This is the first series of meetings in a three year plan by the Department of Rail and Public Transportation to study the issue. Finding efficient alternative public transportation and applying for federal funding are the prime reasons for the study, and the I95 corridor is considered a very viable area for such service.

The three year process will include a great deal of engagement with the public, Emily Stock, the department's manager of rail planning.

The residents in the 95 corridor know the are better than anyone else and are considered a prime source of information, she said.

Her group should be back in spring or summer of next year holding further meetings. By then, she said, they will have initial plans to show the project.

Making the passenger system more efficient without negative cultural and environmental impacts is a prime goal, she said. One way is to add one rail to the present two rails. Straightening out curves on the route and avoiding crossovers will help maximize efficiency of the service, also. At present, Amtrak is using existing CSX infrastructure. As they share it with freight rail, the service can be slowed up.

The meeting is one of a set of meetings in which Department of Rail and Public Transportation is collecting public input regarding plans. Another meeting will be held from 5-7:30 p.m. on Nov. 13 at the Westin Crystal City, located at 1800 Jefferson Davis Highway in Arlington.