The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) is investigating improved passenger rail service between Richmond and Hampton Roads to ultimately connect to the Southeast, Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions as an extension of the Southeast High Speed Rail Corridor. In preparation of this corridor extension, during a special HRTPO Board meeting held on October 30, 2009, a resolution was approved to support regional High-Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail – specifically supporting the designation of a high-speed rail corridor along the Norfolk Southern/Route 460 rail corridors and, in conjunction with the high-speed rail corridor, the endorsement of the enhancement of the intercity passenger rail service along the CSX/I-64 rail corridor. Furthermore, the resolution strongly identified the need to procure consultant services to advise the HRTPO in positioning Hampton Roads to be more competitive regarding high-speed and intercity passenger rail and associated funding, and to develop a regional high-speed and intercity passenger rail campaign and vision plan component for the HRTPO 2034 Long-Range Transportation Plan.
Per the October 30, 2009 HRTPO resolution, the High-Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail Steering Committee was created upon the procurement of the consultant. A consultant specializing in passenger rail planning was secured for the HRTPO, in coordination with DRPT and Virginia Department of Transportation, to evaluate the potential passenger rail service alternative defined by the October 30, 2009 HRTPO Board resolution with respect to both the CSX/I-64 and Norfolk Southern/Route 460 rail corridors. In undertaking this work, the consultant will work closely throughout the course of the study with the HRTPO and DRPT staff and the Steering Committee to assess the potential of higher and high speed rail as determined by the HRTPO Board resolution. The HRTPO and DRPT staff and Steering Committee will provide technical assistance, guidance, and input to the study on an as-needed basis. The consultant will meet with the HRTPO Board and Steering Committee to keep them apprised of project databases, assumptions, and analysis results, and to ensure that the study is effectively coordinated with other work being undertaken by the HRTPO and DRPT.
Click here to view the HRTPO Passenger Rail Task Force