DRPT plays an active role in statewide rail planning for both passenger and freight service. As the designated state entity to coordinate federal rail planning efforts in Virginia, DRPT is involved in several planning initiatives to improve the movement of passengers and goods by rail in the Commonwealth. DRPT's rail division also provides guidance and data for VTRANS planning documents through the Office of Intermodal Planning and Investment.
Virginia Statewide Rail Plan
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) requires that states update their rail plans at least every five years to be eligible for federal rail funding. See our latest updates here: Virginia Statewide Rail Plan
Southeast Rail Corridor
DRPT has been coordinating planning efforts with the Federal Railroad Administration and neighboring states for the Southeast Rail Corridor (SER). Established in 1992 as one of the five original national high speed rail corridors by the USDOT, the SER aims to provide faster and more reliable rail service between Washington, D.C., Richmond, North Carolina, and points south. The corridor has been broken down into several segments which have federal National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) studies advancing on different timelines based on need. Such studies are required by the federal government as a condition to receive federal funds for transportation projects.
Rail Station and Service Expansion Planning Guidelines
DRPT works with the FRA, freight railroads, and other state and local officials when conducting rail plans for localities that wish to initiate passenger rail service. DRPT is occasionally asked by members of the Virginia General Assembly or the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) to conduct studies for passenger rail feasibility. Below is a list of completed studies, as well as links to external planning standards for new passenger rail service for Amtrak, FRA, CSX and Norfolk Southern.
Other Rail Studies
Bedford/Franklin Regional Passenger Rail Stop Study
Lynchburg to Roanoke Passenger Rail Extension Capacity Study
New River Valley Station Location Study
Tri-Cities Station Location Study
Commerce Corridor Study
Rail Planning Standards