DRPT releases draft rail plan for public input
Virginia – The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) has released a draft rail plan for public comment. The 2022 Virginia Statewide Rail Plan is an updated version of the previous plan, published in 2018.
According to the draft rail plan, the commonwealth seeks to invest $5.8 billion in 93 freight rail and 81 passenger rail projects over the next 20 years. More than 80 percent of the total $5.3 billion in passenger rail investments are within the next six years as part of the Transforming Rail in Virginia initiative. These short-term improvements address the critical bottlenecks that affect both passenger and freight rail operations in the next few years, the plan reported. Total freight rail investment over the next 20 years will be $441 million.
Among the passenger projects:
- Alexandria Fourth Track will design and construct six miles of a fourth track and related infrastructure between Arlington and Alexandria.
- Aquia Creek Third Track South (Siding E) will construct 2.3 miles of third track in Stafford County from the north end of Virginia Railway Express’s Brooke Station to the existing Aquia Creek bridge.
- Crossroads Third Track (Siding F) will construct about four miles of third track in Spotsylvania County.
- Franconia to Lorton Third Track will add about six miles of main line third track from Franconia to Lorton, creating a continuous third track corridor between Alexandria and Lorton.
- Franconia-Springfield Bypass, just south of Franconia-Springfield Station, is a rail bridge that will allow passenger trains to cross over to serve stations on the west side of the rail corridor and reduce congestion for freight and passenger trains.
- Construction includes a single track on the Bypass Bridge with accommodations for a future second track.
- Hanover Third Track (Siding C) will construct about three miles of third track south of the South Anna River in Hanover County.
- L’Enfant Fourth Track and Station Improvements will construct about one mile of additional main line track through and around VRE’s busiest station and improve platform access.
- Long Bridge Project will construct a new two-track rail bridge next to the existing CSX-owned, 117-year-old, two-track rail bridge to create a four-track corridor.
The plan is open for public comment until October 27. The plan is due to be finalized in November.