FRA Suspends Study of New Petersburg Station

Efforts to create a new Amtrak station in Petersburg, Virginia, have stalled after the Federal Federal Railroad Administration suspended work on an environmental assessment of the project.

In a letter sent to the Tri-Cities Metropolitan Planning Organization, the FRA did not explain why work on the study had been suspended, but an FRA spokesman later said the agency would be willing to consider the project at an unspecified later date.

“We have not abandoned plans to evaluate the feasibility of building a new station, and will continue to discuss the next steps with the Tri-Cities MPO,” the FRA spokesman said in a statement.

Amtrak currently serves Petersburg at a station located in Ettrick. That facility was one of three locations under consideration for a new station.

The other locations are the CSX Collier Yard in Petersburg and a former department store in Colonial Heights.

Studies of a new station began five years ago and the FRA had indicated last year that it favored the Colonial Heights location, a former Nichols Department Store because of its proximity to Interstate 95.

Officials have said the station in Ettrick is 74 years old and is located near Virginia State University.

The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation had also favored revitalizing the Ettrick station.

Expressing disappointment in the FRA decision, David Hyder, transportation director of the Crater Planning District Commission, said he would welcome the opportunity to revive the new station study.

Petersburg is served by Amtrak’s Silver Star, Silver Meteor, Carolinian and Palmetto.

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