Beginning in 2009, the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) began investigating improved passenger rail service between Richmond and Hampton Roads as an extension of the Southeast High Speed Rail Corridor. The resulting Richmond/Hampton Roads TIER 1 Final Environmental Impact Statement was approved by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) in August 2012 and TIER 1 Record of Decision approved by FRA in December 2012.
To complement DRPT’s work in the Richmond to Hampton Roads passenger rail corridor, the HRTPO Board approved a resolution to support High-Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail at a special meeting held on October 30, 2009 – specifically the resolution supported the designation of a high-speed rail corridor along the Norfolk Southern/Route 460 rail corridor from Norfolk to Richmond, and endorsed enhanced intercity passenger rail service along the CSX/I-64 rail corridor from Newport News to Richmond.
Furthermore, the resolution identified the need to procure consultant services to advise the HRTPO on necessary steps to position Hampton Roads to be competitive for future rounds of federal high speed and intercity passenger rail 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.
Hampton Roads Passenger Rail Vision Plan
Subsequent to the October 30, 2009 HRTPO board resolution, a consultant team specializing in passenger rail planning was secured for the HRTPO, in coordination with DRPT and Virginia Department of Transportation, to evaluate the potential of high speed and enhanced passenger rail service alternatives in the designated corridors. Additionally, a Passenger Rail Task Force was created to provide input and direction to the consultant team at key decision making points throughout the planning process.
Since 2010, the consultant has worked closely with HRTPO and DRPT staff, and the Passenger Rail Task Force to receive technical assistance, guidance, and stakeholder input as study progressed. To date, the following technical reports have been produced by the consultant and approved by the HRTPO Board:
HRTPO Board Resolution Supporting Regional High-Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail (approved October 2009)
Phase 1 (approved July 2010)
Phase 1B - Blueprint Study (approved December 2010)
Phase 2A - Data Collection for the Norfolk-Richmond Corridor (approved March 2013)
Phase 2B - Hampton Roads Passenger Rail Vision Plan Alternatives Analysis (approved March 2014)
Hampton Roads High Speed Passenger Rail Vision Plan (approved November 2014)
For an archive of presentations and information on upcoming meeting dates visit the dedicated HRTPO Passenger Rail Task Force page.
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