Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation

Major Initiatives


Acca Yard Bypass & Richmond Area Improvements

  • Includes construction of two bypass tracks in Acca Yard, three crossovers between Richmond and Petersburg, and eight miles of double track south of Petersburg
  • The improvements will benefit freight passenger operations on CSX’s A-Line Corridor which parallels I-95.  Addiitionally, the Commonwealth secured two additional round trip passenger train slots between Richmond and Norfolk, Virginia as part of these improvements.

Atlantic Gateway

Backlick Road over CSX Railroad

Arkendale to Powell's Creek

  • Is part of a larger initiative to construct an additional third track between Richmond and Washington, D.C.  Construction of the 3rd main track runs from MP 71.0 at CFP Arkendale in Stafford County, VA to MP 81.3 at CFP North Possum Point in Prince William County, VA on the CSXT Richmond Fredericksburg & Potomac Mainline. 
  • The 3rd track segment will be used to meet, pass, and overtake trains to enhance the performance schedule for intercity passenger service, high speed passenger rail service, and Virginia Railway Express commuter service, while preserving freight operations. 
  • Improvements also include structures such as under-grade railroad bridges, overhead roadway bridges, at-grade railroad crossings, and signal system.  Quantico Station improvements include conversion of a side platform to an island platform with pedestrian bridge over the railroad tracks, so that all three tracks can serve the passenger station.

Brooke and Leeland Station Expansion Study, Design, & Construction

  • Will expand the length of the platforms and add a second platform edge to allow VRE trains to serve the stations on either track. 
  • Currently, there is only one platform at these stations, so trains must cross over to the adjacent track to make a station stop.  This constrains capacity for Amtrak and CSX freight trains on the line.

DC2RVA (Washington, D.C. to Richmond)


National Gateway Suite of Projects

Newport News Multimodal Center

  • This new multi-modal transportation center located at Bland Boulevard and I-64 will be more energy efficient, allow for increased passenger train ridership, reduce costs as Amtrak will be able to turn and maintain the trains on site. 
  • Transportation options will increase through new inter-city bus service with local connections including HRT, shuttles to airport and taxi service.

Norfolk International Terminals Central Rail Yard Improvements

  • Will lead to the construction of an intermodal rail yard within Norfolk International Terminals to increase the terminal's rail capacity.
  • The proposed intermodal yard will be located in an area currently occupied by structurally deficient and functionally obsolete warehouses. The primary objective of this project is to increase NIT's rail capacity by improving rail-served market access to the terminal and capture a larger percent of cargo by rail.

Virginia International Gateway/Commonwealth Railway Marshalling Yard Expansion

  • Consists of developing additional on-dock rail capacity for the purpose of transferring containerized cargo between rail service and ship lines.  
  • Increased capacity will be achieved through the construction of new track and associated infrastructure configured to allow loading and unloading of containers by terminal container handling equipment.
  • The primary objective of this project is to increase VIG's container throughput to approximately 40% of the full build-out capacity of the terminal.
  • A marshalling yard expansion outside the terminal is also needed to accommodate the additional rail throughput.  

Virginia-North Carolina High Speed Rail Compact


Second Amtrak Frequency to Norfolk and Hampton Roads Schedule Optimization
As part of the initial agreement with Norfolk Southern to return Amtrak service to Norfolk in 2012, as well as the agreement with CSX to fund Acca Yard improvements, Amtrak will be bringing a second daily frequency to Norfolk beginning March 4, 2019.

New service to Norfolk also includes an optimized schedule for the Newport News station as well.  Norfolk now has two convenient morning options to get to Washington, and two evening options to return.  Newport News riders can now also get to Washington by 9:20 AM, and get back home by 8:20 PM Monday through Friday.  The new Newport News schedule also allows Richmond-Main Street station customers the same Washington arrival time, and back again by 7.

Click here for more information on the new optimized Hampton Roads Amtrak services.

Amtrak Extension to Roanoke

  • Extended Amtrak service from Lynchburg to Roanoke.  This project included a suite of projects: constructing the Green-Smothers Double-track, a ten-mile second mainline, to improve network fluidity by allowing trains to pass at a strategic location; increasing five railroads tunnel clearances and five roadway bridges near Altavista to allow double stack intermodal traffic to shift to the Altavista Route opening up capacity for Amtrak Service between Roanoke and Lynchburg; upgrading signals and electrifying switches on the Lynchburg Wye at Woodall Road to allow for safer and more efficient movement of trains between Lynchburg and Roanoke; building an Amtrak Service facility in Roanoke for the locomotive and eight cars to allow for Amtrak to turn and service the train set in Roanoke for early morning departures and late evening arrivals; refining network study recommendations for freight traffic improvements along the Altavista route to identify improvements to the Roanoke area to accommodate additional intermodal traffic shifted to the Altavista route; and constructing an 850 foot high-level platform in downtown Roanoke allowing for level boarding of Amtrak trains.    
  • The improvements allow NS to shift freight traffic away from the designated passenger route between Roanoke and Lynchburg.  The Commonwealth secured a round trip extension of service from Lynchburg to Roanoke; this service connects to the Northeast Corridor as far north as Boston, Massaschussetts.

Richmond/Hampton Roads Passenger Rail Project

  • DRPT has completed the Tier I Final EIS document.
  • DRPT investigated a program of rail improvements or new rail that would be necessary to accommodate frequent passenger trains through the Richmond/Hampton Roads study area.
  • This study evaluated potential routes for higher speed rail service in both the Richmond to Petersburg to South Hampton Roads Corridor along Route 460, and the existing Amtrak Corridor from Richmond to Williamsburg to Newport News along I-64. New passenger rail service in these locations could ultimately provide rail connections to the Southeast, Northeast, and Mid-Atlantic regions as an extension of the Southeast High Speed Rail Corridor (SEHSR) currently being studied. 
  • Public hearings were held in January 2010 to gain feedback on the alternatives evaluated in the Tier I Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). In February 2010, based on the evaluation and public comments received, the Commonwealth Transportation Board selected Alternative One as the preferred alternative for enhanced passenger rail service between Richmond and Hampton Roads. 

Richmond to Raleigh Tier II Draft Environmental Impact Study

Staples Mill Station Improvements

  • The completed project more than doubles the amount of available parking at the Staples Mill Amtrak Station parking lot from 288 to 600 parking spaces.  The entire existing lot was repaved, with improved taxi and ride share parking, pedestrian access and bus loading. Along with these improvements, a second entrance off of Bremner Boulevard was added to improve parking lot access.

Virginia State Rail Plan

DRPT is also a funding partner with nine shortline railroads on numerous smaller scale projects throughout the Commonwealth.  To view those projects, please review DRPT's SYIP.  

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