FRA OKs Virginia Project Environmental Study

An environmental impact statement for the proposed higher-speed intercity passenger-rail project between Washington and Richmond, Virginia, has been approved by the Federal Railroad Administration .

FRA approval completes the EIS study process and makes the project eligible for federal funding to continue planning the project.

The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation won a $44 million federal grant in 2014 that paid for nearly 80 percent of environmental study.

Other funding was provided by the state and CSX. The latter owns most of the 123-mile corridor that hosts trains of Amtrak and Virginia Railway Express.

Virginia transportation officials have said that once completed, the work will increase passenger train speed and capacity parallel to the congested Interstate 95 corridor, as well as accommodating future freight-rail growth opportunities at the Port of Virginia in Norfolk.

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