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$4 billion rail deal aims to transform travel between Richmond and Washington D.C.

Posted at 6:09 PM, Dec 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-19 18:16:00-05

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Governor Ralph Northam announced Thursday that it could soon be easier to travel Virginia by train.

A new agreement between the state and CSX adds nearly $4 billion in investments into railways over the next ten years, creating a pathway to separate passenger and freight operations along the Richmond to Washington, D.C. corridor

The investment includes widening the one train bridge that crosses the Potomac River in Northern Virginia.

Currently, Long Bridge, built-in 1904 and owned by CSX, carries every passenger, commuter, and CSX freight train that crosses the Potomac River. But it has only two tracks, and is at 98 percent capacity in peak times. The new bridge will relieve this bottleneck, providing track for passenger and commuter trains while freight trains exclusively use the existing Long Bridge.

The funding is expected to help double the number of Amtrak trains running in Virginia, providing nearly hourly trips between Richmond and D.C., while also making trips around the state faster and cheaper.

This rail expansion is expected to remove five million cars and one million trucks off Virginia highways each year.