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Virginia Submits High Speed Rail Framework Agreement to U.S. Department Of Transportation

Posted by Stephen on July 31, 2010

Agreement with Freight Railroad Will Allow Shovel Ready Project to Proceed, Put People to Work

RICHMOND- Governor Bob McDonnell today announced that the Commonwealth and CSX Transportation have reached an agreement on key principles regarding the high speed rail stimulus grant awarded to Virginia earlier this year.  A project framework agreement has been submitted to the U.S. Department of Transportation (US DOT), a critical milestone that will allow work to begin on the $75 million shovel-ready project, pending US DOT approval of the agreement.

Speaking about the agreement, Governor McDonnell noted, “Like most states, Virginia’s rail corridors are owned by freight railroads and our success in bringing high speed rail to Virginia depends on cooperative framework agreements with our freight rail partners.  Virginia is the first state in the nation to achieve an agreement with a Class One railroad for spending the entire award of a high speed rail stimulus grant, and we look forward to working with CSX and the U.S. Department of Transportation to advance new Virginia projects through this agreement.”

The Arkendale to Powell’s Creek project will increase rail capacity and alleviate a major bottleneck in the congested I-95 rail corridor between Prince William County and Alexandria. More information regarding this project is available online at http://www.drpt.virginia.gov/news/details.aspx?id=480.  CSX Chairman Michael J. Ward met with Governor McDonnell yesterday to discuss the agreement, Virginia’s high speed rail strategy and next steps to complete the project.

The framework agreement will also help guide the future development of the entire rail corridor along CSX tracks between Centralia (Petersburg, Virginia) and Washington DC.

Chairman Michael J. Ward remarked, “A key challenge to enhancing passenger rail service is adding the rail capacity necessary to ensure efficient passenger operations, while still maintaining the ability to provide the public benefits associated with moving freight by rail.  Virginia and CSX have a long and successful history in adding necessary capacity that improves the rail network in Virginia, and this agreement is a continuation of that cooperative approach.”

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