High speed rail meeting at PHHS set April 4

March 23, 2016

Source: Herald Progress, Ashland

Hanover County will hold a meeting regarding the proposed D.C. to Richmond Southeast High Speed Rail project April 4 in the auditorium at Patrick Henry High School. The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. and end at 8 p.m.

Representatives from the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) have been invited to provide a project status update and discuss future steps, including future public input opportunities.

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) identified the Southeast High Speed Rail corridor from Washington, D.C. to Florida with a goal to offer a viable, efficient transportation choice that is competitive with air and auto travel.

DRPT is conducting a three-year study on the 123-mile D.C. to Richmond (DC2RVA) section, which is generally expected to follow CSX right-of-way. As part of its environmental impact statement, the DRPT is evaluating which proposed route through the Ashland/Hanover area is most feasible.
Options for the Ashland portion of the rail include building a third track beside the existing CSX tracks through the center of Ashland; building a double-track bypass to the west of Ashland; or not building rail improvements, aka “no-build.”

The DRPT is evaluating which infrastructure options will work best on different parts of the rail corridor. No options have been chosen yet.

The Environmental Impact Study is expected to be completed by the end of next year, and is required before federal funds can be used to construct improvements.

The proposed DC2RVA High Speed Rail project is a portion of a larger effort to link Washington D.C., Richmond, Raleigh, Charlotte, Atlanta, and beyond to Florida, with a spur from Richmond to Hampton Roads.

More information about the high-speed rail project may be found at www.dc2rvarail.com.