HIGH SPEED RAIL
Where is High Speed Rail Now:
All studies on the Washington to Richmond (Tier 1) section of the Southeast High Speed
Rail Corridor were completed in 2002, and the project is as “shovel ready” as any rail
project in the country. This corridor has been studied multiple times over the last
Virginia has invested massive resources into the Washington-Richmond rail corridor
over the decade and the Virginia Department of Rail estimates it will spend at least
$300+ million over the next 10 years to upgrade the Washington to Richmond
! Quantico Creek Bridge is complete, turning a single track section of the corridor
into a double track with capacity for a third track.
! Agreement to build the third track between Washington and Fredericksburg has
been sent to grantee for approval.
! Several minor projects, signaling, track upgrades etc. improving rail service were
completed over the last several years.
! On May 14, 2008 then Amtrak President Alex Kummant stated, “…we all know
that DC to Richmond is one of the most congested corridors in all modes in the
country, and would be a very natural place capital in. And then, you frankly
imagine an electrified system from DC down to Atlanta... I think of it in tranches
from DC to Richmond, Richmond to Charlotte, Charlotte to Atlanta.”
! On January 28th, 2009 Amtrak President Joe Boardman stated in written testimony
to Congress, “I would settle for help extending our electrified territory to Richmond
within the next five years, and making plans to extend that on to Atlanta or beyond
in the next ten.”
! The main impediments have been money and political will.
o American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
! $1.3 billion for Amtrak to invest.
! $8 billion for high speed rail
o President Obama’s Budget
! $5 billion over 5 years for high speed rail.
o Rail Enhancement Fund
! $21 to 27 million annually.
Cost Estimates (for rail service achieving speeds of 90 mph):
! Higher Speed Rail Washington to Charlotte, NC - $3.8-5.3 billion (Estimate -
! Higher Speed Rail Washington to Richmond - $1.5 billion (Estimate - 6/2009)
Who is involved:
The Greater Richmond Chamber: The Greater Richmond Chamber strongly supports
the development of high speed passenger rail service between Washington, DC and
Richmond. With $9.3 billion available in the Federal Stimulus Package and $5 billion
available in the President’s proposed budget dedicated to expanding passenger rail
capacity and grants for high-speed rail projects, Richmond leaders and the business
community must act now to seek funding for passenger rail. The Greater Richmond
Chamber will work with our members to ensure that local, state and federal leaders
understand that linking Richmond and Washington, DC through high-speed rail is a
necessity and priority for our region. To date, all members of our Congressional
delegation, most of our General Assembly delegation, and all of our local governments
in the region have officially committed their support of higher speed rail between DC
Virginians for High Speed Rail: Virginians for High Speed Rail is a non-profit 501(C)
(3) coalition of citizens, localities, economic development agencies, community
organizations, and businesses that educate and advocate for the improvement and
expansion of rail service in Virginia. The organization was created in the mid-90’s
through a joint venture between the Greater Richmond and Hampton Roads Chambers.
We need to build the political momentum to complete the Washington to Richmond
High Speed Rail Corridor. Governor Kaine and his administration have begun the
process but due to the limitations of the one-term Governorship we need to begin
building a base that ensures the process continues to move forward after the
1. Talk to the gubernatorial candidates about making the Washington-Richmond
High Speed Rail Corridor a top transportation priority during their
2. Build a bi-partisan Congressional coalition to encourage the FRA to fund the
Washington-Richmond corridor. Senators Webb and Warner and
Representatives Cantor, Scott, Wittman, Connelly and Moran need to be
3. Build a bi-partisan coalition of supportive General Assembly members from
Richmond to Washington.
4. Talk to our Commonwealth Transportation Board members about flexing highway
funds to begin the process of getting Higher Speed Rail to Richmond.
5. Build a coalition of every locality, economic development authority and chamber
of commerce between Washington and Richmond.
Virginians for High Speed Rail
Southeast High Speed Rail Corridor (From Washington to Charlotte, NC)
Federal Railroad Administration
High-Speed Rail: A Tremendous Economic Opportunity: Op/Ed by Chamber Board Chair Gary
High-speed rail: Rebirth of Intercity Passenger Service: Op/Ed by Amtrak CEO Joseph