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Initiatives

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A train conductor gives a wave while standing in the doorway of a train

North Carolina is partnering with Washington, D.C., Virginia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia and Florida to develop and promote a plan to finance, design, construct and operate an interstate rail service. ​

Freight benefits:

  • Affordability for freight movement and access to promote economic development in rural and urban communities 
  • Additional freight capacity, reliability and network resiliency 
  • Increased connectivity to domestic markets and international ports

Passenger benefits:

  • Reduced travel times
  • Faster and more reliable connectivity between the Northeast and the Southeast
  • Improved connections between growing rural and urban areas
  • Reduced highway congestion and improved productivity​​

Initiatives by State or City​​​

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  • Washington D.C.

    ​Long Bridge Project

    Lead Agency: District Department of Transportation and Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation 

    Status: Draft Environmental Impact Statement published September 2019​

    Project Description: The District Department of Transportation in coordination with the Federal Railroad Administration is completing a comprehensive study for the rehabilitation or replacement of the Long Bridge over the Potomac River. 

    The purpose of the project is to provide additional long-term railroad capacity and to improve the reliability of railroad service through the Long Bridge Corridor. Currently, there is insufficient capacity resiliency to accommodate the projected demand in future railroad services. The project is needed to address these issues and ensure the Long Bridge Corridor continues to serve as a critical link connecting the local, regional and national transportation network.​

  • Virginia

    Lead Agency: Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation

    Status: Tier II Record of Decision published September 2019

    Project Description: The Washington, D.C. to Richmond, Virginia project (DC2RVA) will increase the capacity of the railroad between those two areas. The project will deliver more frequent and higher speed passenger rail service while supporting the planned expansion of Virginia Railway Express commuter rail service and accommodating the forecasted growth of freight rail service. The DC2RVA corridor is a critical link between Amtrak’s heavily traveled Northeast Corridor and the developing the Southeast Corridor extending south of Richmond.

  • North Carolina

    ​Raleigh to Richmond Project

    Lead Agency: N.C. Department of Transportation

    Status: Tier II Record of Decision published March 2017

    Project Description: NCDOT partnered with the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transit (VDRPT) to prepare the environmental document for high-performance rail service between Raleigh, North Carolina and Richmond, Virginia.  The project will restore passenger service between Raleigh and Richmond through Petersburg, generally following the CSX S-Line, portions which are out of service. The project will provide a faster (up to 110 mph) and more direct route between Raleigh and Richmond. 

    NCDOT and VDRPT are evaluating acquisition of both the in-service and out-of-service rail line portions of the S-Line to continue developing corridor. Acquiring the out-of-service SA-Line connecting Warren County to Halifax County is being evaluated.  

    In North Carolina, the project will connect communities between Raleigh and the Virginia state line, allowing quick and productive regional transportation while cutting up to 1.5 hours off the service from Raleigh, Virginia and D.C. The new line would also provide another north-south rail route to accommodate growing freight and passenger rail traffic, supplementing the CSX A-Line.  

    Piedmont Improvement Program

    Lead Agency: N.C. Department of Transportation

    Status: Completed in 2017 

    Project Description: The largest series of improvements were completed in 2017 and included:

    • Building 13 bridges to carry roadways over or under railroad tracks to separate traffic from trains and improve safety for motorists;
    • Adding 27 miles of parallel, or second track, on the heavily traveled corridor between Greensboro and Charlotte, making the entire 92-mile segment double track;
    • Adding 5 miles of passing sidings between Raleigh and Greensboro to help freight and passenger trains move in a more reliable and timely manner;
    • Building approximately 12 miles of new highway to facilitate the new highway bridges and remove railroad crossings; 
    • Closing more than 40 railroad crossings to eliminate the potential for train and vehicle collisions; 
    • Improving railroad curves for more consistent higher operating speeds;
    • Installing remote controlled high-speed switches in five locations to allow trains to quickly move between tracks
    • Renovating train stations in Cary, High Point, Burlington and Kannapolis;
    • Refurbishing and adding passenger rail cars to the fleet; and
    • Adding two daily passenger-train round trips – making a total of five daily – between Raleigh and Charlotte with seven stops in between
  • South Carolina

    ​The S.C. Department of Transportation rail initiatives are described in its rail plan​.  





  • Tennessee

    ​The Tennessee Department of Transportation rail initiatives are described in its rail plan​.​

  • Georgia

    ​Atlanta to Charlotte Project

    Lead Agency: Georgia Department of Transportation

    Status: Tier I Draft Environmental Impact Statement published September 2019

    Project Description: As part of the Atlanta to Charlotte Passenger Rail Corridor Investment Plan, the Federal Railroad Administration and GDOT are conducting a Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement for the extension of the Southeast Corridor from Charlotte, N.C. to Atlanta, Ga. This project extends the Southeast Corridor improvements into Georgia. 

    Atlanta to Chattanooga Project

    Lead Agency: Georgia Department of Transportation 

    Project Status: Combined Tier I Final Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision completed August 2017

    Project Description: The purpose of the project is to develop intercity rail service and economic growth between the metropolitan areas and airport of Atlanta, G​a. It will allow faster and more reliable ground transportation service as an alternative to highway, intercity bus, and air travel that is safe and cost-effective. This project is supported by the Long-Range Transportation Plans of the Metropolitan Planning Organizations in the project area and GDOT and the Tennessee Department of Transportation's State Implementation Plans.​

  • Florida

    ​The Florida Department of Transportation initiatives are described in its rail plan​.  




1/31/2020 2:38 PM