The Commonwealth Corridor Feasibility Study was undertaken to assess the feasibility, desirability, and possibility of expanding intercity passenger rail service on an east-west, cross-state corridor linking Hampton Roads, Richmond, and the New River Valley. The study includes a description of the proposed corridor, a summary of public outreach efforts, a proposed initial service plan, the forecasted range of ridership, the needed capital improvements and their estimated costs to provide the service, an estimate of high-level operating and maintenance costs, and recommended next steps. The Class I freight railroads in the region, CSX and Norfolk Southern, have not evaluated or agreed to the proposed service, including any capacity needs to support the proposed service.
The General Assembly approved Virginia Senate Joint Resolution No. 501 in 2021 requesting that DRPT study the feasibility of an east-west Commonwealth Corridor passenger rail service connecting Hampton Roads, Richmond, and the New River Valley.
The Commonwealth Corridor Feasibility Study examines the potential for service expansion on an east-west, cross-state corridor and concludes that it is possible to provide passenger rail service on this corridor, albeit with substantial capital investments for track and signals, train equipment, additional capacity, and expanded maintenance and storage facilities.