RICHMOND—The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT), in cooperation with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), has scheduled public information meetings to introduce a preliminary engineering and environmental review project that will evaluate options for providing higher speed passenger rail service between Washington, D.C. and Richmond. The project includes a Tier II Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the 123-mile rail corridor that goes through all cities and counties along the I-95 corridor between Arlington County (the south bank of the Potomac River) and Chesterfield County (Centralia).
The rail corridor from Washington, D.C. to Richmond is the northernmost segment of the Southeast High Speed Rail (SEHSR) Corridor, which stretches southward from Washington, D.C through Richmond to Raleigh, N.C. and Charlotte, N.C. and points beyond, ultimately connecting to a larger network of higher speed rail corridors. Improved passenger rail service in the Commonwealth will offer citizens more transportation choices and faster, more reliable rail service that connects the northeast and southeast.
The public is invited to attend any of four public meetings that will be held throughout the corridor. These initial meetings will offer citizens an opportunity to learn details of the study, review information from the Tier I EIS, and provide feedback.
November 5, 2014
Hanover Arts and Activities Center
500 South Center Street
November 6, 2014
Department of Motor Vehicles
2300 W. Broad Street
November 12, 2014
National Museum of the Marine Corps -Quantico
18900 Jefferson Davis Highway
November 13, 2014
Westin Crystal City
1800 Jefferson Davis Highway
An online meeting also will be available October 27, 2014 – December 5, 2014. The public can review materials at the meetings or online and provide comments by December 5, 2014. Comments may be submitted using the interactive comment form on the study website or by mailing comments to: Emily Stock, Manager of Rail Planning, DRPT, 600 E. Main St, Suite 2102, Richmond, VA 23219.
Public meeting locations are accessible to persons with disabilities. DRPT strives to provide reasonable accommodations and services for persons who require assistance to participate. For special assistance, citizens should call the Title VI Compliance Officer, 804-786-4440 or TDD 711 by November 1, 2014. Si usted necesita servicios de traducción a participar, por favor manda un email: espanol@DC2RVArail.com
DRPT and FRA are preparing the Washington, D.C. to Richmond Southeast High Speed Rail Tier II Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) as required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). A Tier I EIS for this corridor and beyond to Charlotte, N.C. was completed in 2002. The current Tier II EIS is the next step toward a more rigorous environmental study of potential alternatives to bring higher speed rail to the Commonwealth. In addition to completing this next phase of environmental study, DRPT will conduct preliminary engineering to evaluate station, track, and safety improvements as well as the feasibility of adding a third track in several areas. These improvements are required in order for additional intercity passenger trains on the corridor to operate at higher speeds.
The goal of the Tier II EIS environmental review and preliminary engineering effort is to develop a set of approvable and buildable projects that meet the project’s Purpose and Need while protecting environmental and community resources. The end result will be an EIS, coupled with a service development plan and preliminary engineering for improvements that will lead to final design and construction of the corridor in the future.
Washington, D.C. to Richmond Southeast High Speed Rail is an integral component of the Commonwealth’s transportation system and will complete a critical link in the U.S. intercity passenger rail system between the Northeast Corridor (Boston, Mass. to Washington, D.C.) and the SEHSR corridor. The improvements evaluated and designed as part of the project will enhance connectivity between Washington, D.C., Richmond, and beyond by providing faster and more reliable intercity passenger rail service.
This project is funded through a cooperative agreement between the DRPT and FRA for the completion of preliminary engineering and Tier II environmental review.