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Richmond-to-Raleigh High-Speed Rail Gets Big Funding Win

Federal grant funding awarded recently takes a critical step toward making high-speed intercity rail service a reality between North Carolina and Virginia.
September 27, 2020, 11am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Raleigh, North Carolina

"The effort to establish high-speed passenger rail service between Raleigh and Richmond, Virginia, got a boost Friday with a $47.5 million federal grant to the N.C. Department of Transportation," reports Richard Stradling. 

"The money will allow the state to buy a rail line between Raleigh and Ridgeway, near the Virginia state line, from freight railroad CSX," adds Stradling. The Federal Railroad Adminsitration refers to the planned intercity rail line as the Southeast High-Speed Rail Corridor.

(Astute observers will recall a CSX sale playing a central role to rail transit plans that will connect the state of Virginia to Washington, D.C.)

As for how the new stretch of rail line will play into the ambitions for intercity rail between North Carolina and Virginia, Stradling explains that the "state’s long-term plans for rail service include passenger trains capable of going 110 mph between Raleigh and Richmond on the [CSX] S-line."

"Actual construction of the project is still years away, but NCDOT is working to eliminate railroad crossings on the CSX line in Wake County by building bridges, starting with Durant and New Hope Church roads in Raleigh," according to Stradling.

The grant was announced earlier this month by a bipartisan coalition of Congressional representatives of the state of North Carolina. The news about the state of North Carolina's high-speed, intercity rail ambitions synchronized with news about high-speed rail plans in Texas gaining key approval from federal regulators.

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Published on Friday, September 18, 2020 in The News & Observer
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